Victoria Leigh


First Day of the Rest of My Life

Picture this. It’s the first day of my first semester of college. I jump out of bed and get ready for my Freshmen Seminar. I was heading to a class called ‘Simple Living.’ Apparently this course had been in my Top Five choices for a Freshman Seminar. The memory of choosing my Freshmen Seminar was hazy. Sitting at the kitchen table, I hmm-ed and hah-ed over my choices, but I don’t remember what I actually chose. Honestly, I’m pretty sure the Simple Living course was the only one that fit into my busy schedule as a music major. There didn’t seem to be any room for a simple living college course. There’s no way to make life at college simple, is there?

Either way, off I go to class. I had no idea this class would going to change the way I looked at the world forever.

A Simple Living College Course Guide

There were a few key elements to this Simple Living college course.

  1. All the students in the class would be living together on the same floor, as a way to build community.
  2. We’d be participating in Simplicity Circles, a small group of people who come together to read literature about living simply and reflect on what we’ve learned.
  3. Each student would be required to write a twenty page paper about an aspect of Simple Living by the end of the semester.

I will be the first to tell you that I didn’t seriously consider the ideas of Simple Living until well after this course was over. In fact, it would take me until the summer before my junior year to take a hard look at the life I was living and turn it into the life I wanted.

What I did know was I had a whole floor of built-in friends. They loved me deeply and wholly, just as I was. After long days in the music building, I would be greeted by my second family, encouraged to spend time with them, and ultimately build friendships that would last for years to come.

What I didn’t know was a few of my floormates would become my core group of friends though college. Two of the girls would become my roommates. We’d complete service projects honoring the history of our small little college town together. I didn’t know my professor would become my mentor and life-long friend. And I really didn’t know that years later, I’d be here. I’m blogging about something I didn’t know anything about just a few short years ago.

Fast Forward: Simple Living in College to Intentional Living Today

But like I mentioned earlier, it would take years before I figured out everything this simple living college course would teach me. I am still learning to this day. I am the first to say, this course changed my life. My journey started in year seventeen in Nicary Hall, but better late than never, right?

What was the event or moment that caused you to consider joining the Simple Living Movements and living with intention? Leave a comment below to let me know!

I have this habit of saying ‘I’m sorry’ when I have a real, realistic request that might mildly inconvenience someone. Maybe it’s learned helplessness. Maybe it’s just something to say so I don’t stand there awkwardly as someone helps me do something. I’ve always had this habit, and its always bothered the adults in my life (the ones that are adultier than me, because remember, I am an “adult”) to the point they’ve asked me to stop saying that dreaded phrase.

Stop saying ‘I’m Sorry’

“I’m sorry this tiny issue has inconvenienced you.”

“Sorry I cannot help you because it physically hurts me to do the thing you’re asking of me.”

“Even though I needed this surgery, I’m sorry I must rely on you during my recovery.”

The Response

“Please don’t apologize.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for.”

“Your only job is to get better.”

What all that sounds like to my brain

“Be quiet and stop reminding me that you are inconveniencing me.”

“I’d rather not think about all the extra things I need to do because you are unable to do them yourself.”

“You get to lay around doing nothing while I have to pick up after you.”

I’ve been working hard on just staying quiet.

But recently, saying “I’m sorry” has turned into saying “thank you.”

Avoiding apologizing, especially right now in the thick of my healing, has been tough. But I’ve been catching myself, and instead started to thank people instead of apologizing. It seemed like a great alternative. I could still acknowledge what another person had done for me, and they could feel appreciated.

Except, I was told the “thank you” was assumed, and I didn’t need to say it anymore.

I wish this post had a better ended, but I have yet to figure out what words I’m supposed to say here. I want to make myself and the people around me feel a little better about my current situation. I’m hoping to challenge myself with new phrases that will make myself and my caregivers feel good about our interactions.

Do you have any phrases you use to show your thanks to the people around you?

Stay beautiful,
Victoria Leigh

I’m writing this post from my hospital bed. This is the start of my Road to Recovery. My hip surgery has been delayed by another hour, as someone’s still in the operating room. I’m sending positive thoughts their way. It’s going to be a long journey, but I’m ready. I’m equipped with the right items, and even more importantly, a positive support group.

In the meantime, I’ll speak with my surgeon about all that’s going to happen today. There will be three small holes in my hip (a hip arthroscopy), where the doctor will use a small camera to repair my torn labrum. It’s been causing me more pain than I care to actually write about. I heard about all the drugs I’ll get and, how the procedure will work.

There were warnings of what will happen when I wake up later today. Then he told me he’d have to talk about the risks and rewards of the surgery. He started with the rewards. No more pain. No more hip popping. Being able to walk normally again. Then he went to the risks. Infections. Blood clots. Other things that were unlikely, but still exist.

I’m glad he started with the good things.

Already Unproductive

I’m also glad I can have my phone, because I can type this post (with one hand, as the IV is making my other arm uncomfortable). See, I already feel unproductive. Like I’m wasting time by relaxing before surgery. How silly is that? This is my job right now. But I still don’t feel productive enough.

I’m literally browsing Facebook groups for bloggers right now. Not a second can I waste.

It’s going to be a long seven months.

There’s Power in Pain

Now is as good a time as any to delve into my reasoning for starting this blog. I’ve always wanted to have a blog. But now, I have time. Seven months of time, actually. The Road to Recovery for my specific hip surgery is going to be long and tedious. I had to stop driving three weeks ago (I can’t even drive on this road!). During that time, I’ve had to rely on my friends and family to get anywhere (including having my mom drive me to a first date…). I feel a little defeated and mostly useless. I know it’s my personality, mixed with a little depression and a lot of anxiety, that’s making me feel this way. But it’s still tough.

And yet, not once in this process have I  truly believed there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, I’m twenty-three and need hip surgery. But did I mention why? I injured a muscle while teaching children’s fitness classes. What a cool job, right? Add in great co-workers and an awesome boss, too. I don’t regret that job, not even as I lay here getting ready for surgery. It was a beautiful experience.

Road to Recovery

I’m going to make something beautiful out of this experience, too. ‘Recovery’ is synonymous with ‘Reset,’ in my opinion. I get to reset. I’ve actually been given time to finally invest in my dream. That’s where this blog comes in!

I believe in the power of positivity. I believe there’s something good in every day. Today, I get to have a surgery that will allow me to live a healthy and active life for years to come.

(Sorry for the brief interruption! I had to talk to my anesthesiologist! 😉 )

Anyway, I’m trying to stay in that positive mindset as I head into this whole thing.
Beautiful Outcomes Only.

The Road to Recovery is just beginning. Have you ever traveled down this difficult road, or know of someone who has? How did you add some positivity to your situation. Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to read them after surgery.

Meet you in the recovery room,
Victoria Leigh