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My Dear Kappa Days…

If you read my “About Me” blog post, then you read that I was in a sorority. I decided to dedicate my blog today on my dear Kappa days.

fam bam

I am a Kappa Kappa Gamma. I was initiated in fall of 2013. I have an amazing big who is there for me always. We may not talk every day, but I know that I can go to her and she will be there for me. I have two little’s. One who, unfortunately, had to drop due to transferring schools. That was hard to lose my first little, but she makes me proud in all she accomplishes. Then I got my second little, and she is my pride and joy. She is driven and possess qualities I can only wish to have. She is still active, and it was extremely difficult leaving her to go Alum. Having Kiki, my big, and Alexis and Kayla, my little’s has given me the opportunity to have the sister I never had and they all empower me to be better. Life in Kappa without them, well I can’t imagine my time in Kappa without them. They each came at a time I needed them and I thank them each from the bottom of my heart for putting up with my crazy self.

my little

Now time for the back story.  I went through recruitment by myself, but I had a friend in a chapter on campus, so that kind of inspired me to join. I was terrified because you see in movies that you are doomed to be judged on everything you do. So tried my best to be perfect during each house. I wanted them all to like me. I went through recruitment for myself but also for my Nana, who was sick at the time. She told me that I would be living by our song “I Hope You Dance” if I went through recruitment, so that just sealed the deal.

On bid day when I opened my letter and was told that I was a Kappa, my heart was full. I ran to my new home away from home  and was on cloud nine joining all of my new sisters that day. I was given this amazing opportunity and it was the start of the best years of my life.

kkg

Two days after bid day, my Nana passed away. Kappa was my last gift from her.

The only thing that got me through that and was the thing that made me crawl out of bed was Kappa. That organization gave me a reason to do my hair some day. I can’t even imagine where  I would be in life if I didn’t have Kappa to help me heal. So I have Kappa to thank for saving me from sinking into a deep depression and God only knows what else.

I have the girls to thank for being there for me when I needed someone most. I had seventy some girl text me, message me, tweet me all saying “I am here for you Tyler.” That was amazing to me. I was barely a member yet, barely knew anyone and they were there for me. It reassured me that I had made the right choice.

tate

I have Kappa to thank for a lot actually. I have it to thank for giving me some of the best roommates, the best friends I have today, the best memories of college like joining a flag football team, going out to bars with my sisters, meeting tons of people I normally would not have and so much more. Kappa really was the reason I broke out of my shell and helped contribute to the woman I am today.

Despite it being the best experience, Kappa was a lot of work sometimes and there were moments when I thought “Why?”

Then I would go to the house and sit in the basement with my sisters and I was always reminded in that very moment why I joined. This was a home for me. This was the ability to walk in and feel instantly safe. There are seventy some girls and at least one person has gone through something like what I was going through. There were days I wanted to rip my hair out because I had a test the next morning and instead of being a home studying, I was at an event, but my sisters always made it worth it.

lil

You have this endless support no matter the time of day. You can rely on Kappa’s present and past for guidance and that meant so much to me. Your sisters are your sisters. They are not perfect and flawless 24/7. We all had out moments, but somehow we made it work and we accepted people for who they were. That was what made Kappa extremely unique and special. We did not care what color you were, your sexual orientation, what clothes you wore, how your hair looked, if you wore sweat pants everyday or what size jeans you wore. We loved you because you loved us.

Kappa had its moments when it was too much, but all in all it was the best part of my college experience. It gave me sisters, it gave me love, it gave me support but most of all it gave me so much more confidence in myself.

I have now started my journey on being a Kappa alum so stay tuned on what that hold for not only me, but my little Lambda chapter.

kk

I Only Eat Six Foods

Yes, you did read that correctly. I only eat six foods.

  • Mcdonald’s French Fries (Literally only their French fries)
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Cereal
  • Waffles
  • Hot Pretzels
  • French Toast Sticks

Then of course I eat junk food like popcorn and ice cream but those are my main foods.

The look on your face while you are reading this is probably a “WTF?!” look. So let me explain.

When my parents switched their precious baby girl, me, to table foods I would gag at the touch of foods like hot dogs. So being first time parents my parents freaked out. They took me to all kinds of doctors and all said the same thing- “She will grow out of it.” Jokes on them. I am now 22 years old and look at me now. I still eat the same foods I always have.

It was not until I was a freshman in college that I actually discovered that what is wrong with me is actually a disorder. Up until then it was always the same response “I am just really picky” and people always said things like “Well you can fix picky” or “Haven’t you tried anything” and it was always so hard to explain that I just couldn’t.

Then I got a phone call from my Nana and my life changed. All I remember is her going “Tyler, I read an article and it’s you!” I was so confused until I got to my dorm and looked the article up and read it. I started to cry because it was like a wave of relief that I was going to be okay and that what was wrong with me, it was okay.

I had Selective Eating Disorder.

Having a name to tell people has given me all kinds of confidence. I used to hate having to go out to eat with people because I would get so self-conscious, it was miserable. As time has gone on, I have learned to embrace this about me, but it still has its moments when it is the most frustrating thing. Like when my boyfriend wants to get pizza and I can’t enjoy that with him.

Reading this article was everything. It gave me a glimpse into my future, and my future is okay. I remember when I was younger one of my so called “friends” told me that I would never be able to have kids because I couldn’t eat. I was devastated because having kids is a priority in my life and her telling me that I was actually scared. In the article this woman, who is just like me, has two children and had healthy pregnancies. One of her children is just like her; I have concerns about that because I would not wish this on anyone, so the thought of possibly passing this down to my children is a huge concern. But… I guess there are worst things in life than them being picky.

To kind of explain to you what is wrong or make you kind of understand I tell you all what I go through with the thought of putting a piece of food in my mouth. Now you all know that on Instagram there are the “foodies” that constantly post delicious looking food that makes you guys really want to try. Well I don’t have that. I can look at food and have zero drive to put that in my mouth. It just looks like something on a plate. So I have this like mental block that prevents me from wanting to try new foods. Then I also have this thing where if I imagine putting a new piece of food in my mouth, I have a mini anxiety attack. I start to panic and freak out, it just does not go so well.

I have accepted this of myself. Sure, it is tough and annoying, but by this point I am an expert at figuring out how to handle this. My doctors have run tests, and I am perfectly healthy. I just don’t eat common food. I have started to kind of venture out of my comfort zone and try new foods. I have tried Oreo balls that have cream cheese, which I would have never eaten if I had known there was cream cheese. I have tried Poptarts. I want to try bagels, so that is next. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but to me this is huge progress. Brandon even wants to eventually get me comfortable enough to eventually try pizza, so stay tuned on my progress with food!

My Future Fur Baby Dream

I want to be a fur mommy.

puppy

I know I am crazy in the eyes of my family, but there is nothing I want more in life right now than to be a mom to a puppy. I realize they are a lot of work and time consuming, but honestly, I want that. I want that responsibility and to have the affection that you receive from them. I know they don’t stay puppies forever and that is okay! I want to have a fur friend to walk through all stages in life from now on with me.

I have had pets, don’t get me wrong, but I was young and did not realize the huge job that it was to have this animal in my life. I have had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles, fish… You name it, I’ve probably had it.

I just have such a passion for animals and watching them learn a different way and be something completely different than a human and still can completely function on its own. It’s amazing. Like, I watch my boyfriend’s dog, Lokie, and he is basically human. He has expressions, he has a way to communicate with us and understands us and it blows my mind.

So that is why I have decided that once I move out I plan to live in an apartment that allows for pets. Not just because I really want a puppy, but also because I have to have a way to get Lokie in my house 😉  I mean come on… Look at him!!

loks

My top dog breeds that I would want are easy: (mind you this is my personal preference)

  1. French bull dog
  2. Shih Tzu
  3. Dachshund
  4. English Bulldog
  5. Cocker Spaniel
  6. Golden Retriever
  7. Pug
  8. Chocolate Lab
  9. Mini Australian Shepard
  10. Corgi
  11. St. Bernard
  12. Great Pyrenees

Now, obviously some of these are not going to fit in a tiny apartment, so I will probably have to wait until I am older to possibly to have one, but these are my top twelve dog breeds that I love. Right now, if I had my pick, I would want a little Frenchie.

I am not encouraging people to shop for a specific breed, and I don’t want people to take it that I “shop” for a dog rather than go to an overcrowded kennel and adopt. I am just saying that these are my favorite puppy breeds. I don’t know what my future hold in terms of pets, I just know that someday I want to be a mom to a fur baby. Whether it is one I just happen to come across or one I walk into a kennel and fall in love with. I am open to all kinds.

Some say I am crazy for wanting a puppy in my early twenties, some say I should just get it over with and adopt a puppy. Regardless, I am just not ready. One day I will be! So stay tuned and hopefully you all will get to meet my future fur baby.

Judge Me.. I Have Tattoos

So I guess it is time to confess to my family that I have three tattoos. Most know don’t get me wrong. They are not the easiest to hide, but what they do not know is the actual meaning behind them. I just wanted to take some time to tell everyone who does not know and ask people if they have meaning behind their tattoos.

My first tattoo that I got is located on my ribs. I know, ouch, but to me it was actually not that bad. It is the tattoo with the most significance because it is for my Nana. She had told me when I graduated high school to live by this song, and when she passed away that was all I had left of her. So now I carry her around with me everywhere. Granted, if she knew that I got this for her should would probably kill me, but this is something I needed to do in order to keep her here with me.

tat 1

My second tattoo is on the top of my foot. This was my more creative tattoo. It is written in my mom, dad and little brothers handwriting. This is a phrase we have been saying since the time I was born, but the actual significance is that my family is everything to me. They have stuck by my through thick and thin and this tattoo allows me to remember that. Having it written in their handwriting was more for me being able to trust them because I was putting this on my body forever, so they did well! (“Love you” is written in my moms handwriting, “like a” is written in my dads and “Crazy” is written in my little brothers)

tat 2

My last tattoo is located on the inside of my ankle. This tattoo was an impulse tattoo but something I have always wanted. Many have thought I got it just to get one, but in reality I put a lot of thought behind this. When I came to college I was a biology major and wanted to become a marine biologist. I was so passionate about helping animals, particularly whales and dolphins, so this is the message behind my tattoo. I still love whales and dolphins, I would love to be able to be a marine biologist, but that is not feasible for me. So I got this tattoo to represent my desire to help them in any way that I can.

tat 3

I love tattoos. I love the story or the message behind them. I have three, all with meaning, and plan to hopefully get more. Both of my parents have tattoos, my mom has smaller ones and my dad has larger ones, so for me to get tattoos was really no big deal in their eyes. Like I said, I do play to get more and I have ideas that I like, but most need to wait until after I get married because I am personally choosing to not have my tattoos pictured in my wedding photos. Again, that is a personal preference. I just wanted to share my love for my tattoos and the message/meaning behind them so everyone in my life can understand that there is a purpose for them. I was not some crazy college kid who did not put any thought behind them. I love mine and will be a proud eighty year old with tattoos.

I Swiped Right and it Led Me To You

Meet Brandon. My boyfriend.

chrstimas

We have been dating eight months tomorrow and it has been the best eight months of my life. Our first date was actually my 22nd birthday. We went to go see The Intern and he gave me the most BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers and was just a complete gentleman.

So let me tell you all about us. We are such a practical couple. We watch all kinds of movies, we go on walks with his adorable dog Lokie, we play video games (more him than me but I am learning) and we occasionally go on dates. He knows that my weakness is popcorn and ice cream and I know that he loves to drive and wants a Mustang. We obviously know more about one another but that was just an example.

He is my best friend. He is my first real boyfriend, and until now I never really knew how you could be best friends with someone you were dating. Like my friends would always say “We tell each other everything. He is my best friend” and that did not make sense to me. I just could not imagine telling a guy things like “My boobs hurt” or “I got sick today at work” that just did not seem like the “ladylike” thing to do. Until now. I know that I can tell Brandon anything and he will listen. That is something that really attracts me to him. He listens to me and is there for me when I need him. He is my best friend in a boyfriend form.

Another thing that attracted me to him, besides the way he treats his dog, his smile! OH MY GOSH! When I first saw him smile, I was done. He has this smile that can light up a room and so contagious that it isn’t even fair. I love when he smiles and I get to see that because it instantly makes me smile no matter what kind of mood I am in.

Speaking of moods, this boy has a heart of gold and puts up with so much moody girl stuff. He sticks by me through everything and has never once turned his back. There were times when I thought “He saw a crazy part of me. It is done” and he keeps staying with me. So he is genuine. He is compassionate. He is caring. He is loving. He is mine, and I thank God every day for that.

So you now have learned a lot about who Brandon is as a person. Now to learn a little bit about us. We are total opposites in some ways. He eats food, I do not. (Again, I promise to tell the story) He loves to drive, I am a horrible driver. He likes video games; I get motion sick when I play most games. He hates reading, I love to read. But one thing is for sure that this actually helps us. I have introduced him to many things and he has done the same.

We have recently started playing Grand Theft Auto together because driving games do not make me as sick, so he taught me how to play. That was an interesting night because we have discovered that my awful driving also applies in video games and not just real life.

We have been together eight months and in those eight months I have changed. I have started to realize that the adult world is not so scary and I need to start preparing for it. I discovered how easy it is to love someone with all of my heart and to let someone see me and trust them enough to have my whole heart. I have become a better version of myself for him because he deserves the absolute best because he is the best for me.

To celebrate our anniversary, and no we are not THAT couple that celebrates every “month-a-versery” we just happened to plan this on the same weekend of dating anniversary, we are going camping. Good lord save us now because if there is one thing I am not very good at it’s camping. I hate bugs and I have this fear of contracting things like the Zika Virus or Lyme Disease. It is going to be an adventure for us but I am sure it will be fun non the less. There will for sure be a blog on how this goes next week! So stay tuned!

“I Thank God I Did Not Get What I Thought I Deserved Because It Led Me Straight To You.”

My Way From a Biology Major to an English Major

Being an English major I have always gotten the “Are you going to teach?” question, or the “What can you do with an English degree?” It is always one of the two. The thing is, English was not my passion when I first came to college because I did not think someone could major in English and make a living. So, I did the sensible thing and majored in biology. I told myself that it was the smartest move, and I would go into marine biology. I was determined.

I did not want to be one of those kids that changed their major. I told myself this is what I wanted to do with my life since I was very young. Yet here I am. One major change and much happier.

I will tell you this, choosing English was not my choice. My Nana was the one that constantly told me for two years to major in English and when she passed away, she made it blatantly clear that English was the way to go. How you may ask? Well, some may believe me and others will not. I get messages from my Nana when I need guidance most. She comes at the most random times in my life, when I have reached my limit, and I am struggling with major questions in life. I believe it is her giving me answers and assuring me that everything in the future will be okay. I just have to get through this and things will get better.

So I am going to take you back to when I was a graduating high school senior. My Nana and I were driving to the mall and talking about the future and what it would hold for me. Out of nowhere the song “I Hope You Dance” comes on and we were just listening to it when my Nana turned to me and said “Tyler, I want you to live by this song. Go to college and dance.”

Fast forward two years, my Nana passed away and all I had left really was this song to bring me some sort of comfort. This song meant everything to me and could instantly bring chills.

I went through this time where I was struggling in math, I was not happy at all with life and I just questioned everything I was doing. I was not sure if biology was my passion and so I made an appointment with a career guidance counselor and was finally going to get answers I so desperately needed.

I walked in on a Friday. I had a couple of hours before my dad was going to pick me up for the weekend, so I had to make this appointment short. This woman who was warm and welcoming said “Hi Tyler, I am your counselor today. Why don’t you tell me what is going on?” So I explained to her my predicament that I had this internal debate going on about my major and that I was debating between two majors. The conversation went as followed:

“Okay Tyler, well answer two questions for me. The first, what would you do with your biology degree?” she said.

“I would get my degree, move down south, get a job at a zoo or aquarium and find a school to get my masters or another bachelor’s degree in marine biology.” I said.

“Okay, now what would you do with you English major?” she questioned.

“OH! I would go into book publishing or magazine editing. I have always wanted to be author so that is definitely a future plan!” I said.

This woman crossed her legs, folded her hands, leaned forward and responded,

“Tyler, when you talked about your biology degree it was like a checklist. Check. Check. Check. But when you talked about your English major, you danced.”

Instantly I started crying in the middle of this poor woman’s office. She had no idea what she just said and what those two words were going to do for my future. I explained the whole situation of losing my Nana and her song for me. The woman started crying because she could tell she just made a huge impact in my life. Of the thousands of words, she could have said, you seemed excited, you smiled, you lit up the room, anything. She said “You danced” and that was it.

I had a half an hour until my dad was going to pick me up, so I ran over to the academic advising office, got in with my advisor and said “I am changing my major.” And she was completely stunned and said “How long have you been thinking about this Tyler?” I chuckled a little bit and said with all seriousness “Ten Seconds.”

Whether or not you believe that my Nana had a hand in this is up to you, but for me she was telling me that my future did not contain a career with biology. That I was meant for greatness with an English degree. Now, I am much happier, I am studying things that I enjoy, and I know that I have so many options for a future that does not contain teaching.

The Tell All of Tyler Schrader

Hi all!

For my first official blog is going to be about myself. I know that it is extremely basic, but I feel as though I want my readers to know about me, so they can relate to me. The whole idea behind my blog is so people can know about me and hopefully take away something from reading about my life. So here we go!

My name is Tyler Schrader and yes my parents chose a boy name for their girl. Was not my pick for a name, but hey I couldn’t talk when they decision was being made. So I have always had a little distaste for my name. The second most important thing you need to know is that I only eat six foods. Don’t worry there will for sure be a more in depth blog post on this, but for now you need to know that it is true, it is a disorder and yes I am healthy.

I grew up in a small town and from that small town I went to a big city college. That was the hardest transition, but now I could never go back. I love my hometown, don’t get me wrong, but I also enjoy the city so much and always having things to do rather than go to Wal-Mart for entertainment. There is just something so exciting about the city life and what it has to offer. You are always busy or have options on what you can do at any day during the week. You are not stuck with the two sit down restaurants, a hardware store and, again, Wal-Mart as your only option. You can go downtown to a baseball game, or a club where there is people your age and not the creepy old man who is a bar usual. I just have become so accustom to the city, that I am having a hard time adjusting to moving back home.

My time at college is coming to a close at the end of this year, which, for the most part, is extremely exciting. I have been in college for four and a half years, which I take as a big accomplishment because now a days it seems five is the minimum amount of years people will spend trying to get that paper. But on the other hand, this time is also the scariest because all I have ever known school and learning. Sitting in a desk, taking notes and reciting what I learned in a test or paper. Now I actually have to apply what I learned at a job and be making big girl decisions and taking on an adult life in a matter of months.

College was an extremely hard time in my life. I honestly can say “Yeah I enjoyed it, but I would never do it again.”  Reason being: too much stuff happened in such a short amount of time that affected me in ways that are unimaginable. My Nana, who was my person in this world passed away, my parents got divorced, I battled internally with who I was in this world and struggled with that, I found out who my real friends were and then there is always the guy who was toying with my heart. So, yeah it was hard. “Best four years of your life”… yeah right. Maybe for some, but not for me. So I am actually extremely excited about where this new adult world leads me.

Now, more about the fun details about myself rather than the extremely boring things. I am an English major. I actually did not choose this major, it was chosen for me by my dead grandmother. Again, another story for another blog. So here I am trying to make it in this big bad world and show the world that you can major in English and not have to teach for a living. I also took up two minors in college. One was creative writing, which is kind of how I discovered I liked writing about myself (Not to sound shallow, but I know myself and so it is easy to write about myself.) I also minored in popular literature and film. I have no idea what I am going to use this for, my counselor told me that I had the majority of the credits completed so I might as well add it. So I did and here I am.

Another fun thing about me is that I am a marketing intern. I know what you are thinking… “How did the English major land a marketing internship?” Good question. I have no clue. The company that I work for had on the job description that English majors were welcome and I applied on a whim. Two days after I had my interview I got the job. So fate brought me to this, and surprisingly I LOVE IT. I never thought that I would love marketing, but I am learning so much and finding out that I am actually not too bad at it either. So we will see where this goes from here.

One of the most important fun things to know about me is that I have some of the best friends who have continued to stand by me when others wouldn’t. They are my rock and truly are the greatest blessings in my life. You will hear all about them in later blogs, but that is an extremely important aspect in my life. Along with amazing friends, I had the most amazing man walk into my life about eight months ago. I cannot talk enough about him and what all he has done for me. He is truly the man of my dreams and I love him with all of my heart. The last thing about the people around me, my family is crazy. I love them all, but holy moly I was put in one crazy family. They always support me in whatever I do, which is something I cherish. There will be more blogs about my family, friend and boyfriend, I just wanted you all to know they are the most important thing in my life.

So I guess other basic facts about me are that I love to read and write. I love the beach more than anything. I have three tattoos, all with meaning behind them. I took ASL classes  (American Sign Language) and love the deaf culture because of it. I was in a sorority at school, Kappa Kappa Gamma, but I am now an alumna.  I played sports all my life: soccer and softball. Then played flag football in college for my sorority. I love animals and aspire to own a French bulldog and a white fluffy cat. I am primarily seen in black clothing, whether it is yoga pants or my favorite black t-shirts because that is my favorite color to wear, but not my favorite color. That is purple. I also love sunflowers but hate receiving flowers because I am like my Nana in ways of thinking they die so what is the point? But don’t tell my boyfriend because he likes getting me flowers :p  Lastly, I am an ice cream addict. Like it is bad. Mint chocolate chip is the best hands down. And I know all of the best places with the best ice cream.

Well, there you have. This is basically all you need to know about me. I am sure as I go on I will continue to tell you all more about my life and where I am headed on this life journey. Stay tuned.