Life has been absolutely insane for the past year. So many exciting things have happened and I can finally share everything!
For starters, I completed my dietetic internship and passed the RD exam! No more late nights studying, no more long drives and crazy hours, and most importantly, no more "paying to work!" I landed a job as a clinical dietitian and LOVE what I'm doing. Looking back, all the stress, tears, late nights, and early mornings were well-worth it. I knew I wanted to be a dietitian when I was in high school and I think it's safe to say that I'm in the minority because I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I went to college and never changed my major. After completing my B.S., it took me 3 tries to get matched into an internship, and it took me 3 tries to pass the RD exam. I worked my butt off for this, and I feel so accomplished to finally be a Registered Dietitian.
There were countless times when I wanted to give up. Everything about this process was hard. And no matter how many times I thought about giving up, I knew I would push through. I have an amazing support system, and I didn't want to disappoint them, or myself. After not getting matched twice, I told myself I was going to apply one more time and after that, I wasn't going to do it again. I was ready to move on and enjoy life instead of constantly being asked about what I was doing and explaining to people what is required to become an RD. Those credentials don't come easily... And then, it finally happened. I got matched to Nicholls State University. I drove an hour to and from rotations everyday, completed over 1200 hours, and even won The Core Values Award. What!? And after 3 attempts to take the seemingly impossible Registration Exam, I passed. I remember the first time I was really upset afterwards, and the second time, I was really mad. I had a similar feeling about not getting matched, and I was going to give it one more shot. I felt so defeated and discouraged. I had already been hired for my clinical position, and that was my drive. I knew I was smart enough and had what it takes. I just had one last leg of the race to finish. And I finally did. It is such a relief, and honestly a little weird feeling because this is the first time in my life that I'm not studying or working on something to further my education (for now anyway). I'm just so happy I can officially do what I love and now I can focus on planning my wedding!
That's the other very exciting thing that has been going on in my life - Bill and I are engaged! In the middle of finishing my internship and taking the exam, Bill proposed to me! A couple of months before I finished the internship, we talked about going to the Panama City Beach for a long weekend to just relax after this very busy and stressful year. Little did I know, that about a month before we went, he decided that this is when he was going to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. I was so distracted with finishing my internship and studying that I didn't pick up on any of the hints that I should have picked up on... he asked if I was going to get my nails done, made dinner reservations, and even asked what I was going to wear to dinner. Hello?! Hints were everywhere! He was also on his phone more than usual, which I didn't really pay too much attention to because I was just basking in the moment of having completed my internship. Little did I know that he was going back and forth with his sister because she was also there to help with all of the arrangements (there were a couple of close-calls with almost running into her!)
We spent the day relaxing on the beach (where he was constantly making sure I was re-applying sunscreen to make sure I wouldn't burn since he knew we would be taking pictures later that evening). We went to dinner, where I practically inhaled my food, which is very unlike me. I am normally a slow eater, but I think I was just so hungry from being out in the sun all day that I mindlessly ate my food super fast. He asked if I wanted to take a walk to the beach to take a picture at sunset after we finished dinner, and naturally I said yes. Because I ate so fast, he had to stop in the bathroom on the way out to call the photographer to let her know we were ahead of schedule. We still had 45 minutes before we were supposed to "meet" the photographer on the beach so she asked if he could stall me for a little while, even though she lived close by, he really wanted to wait until sunset so there we were... walking around a half-abandoned strip mall for 45 minutes until it was close enough to sunset to go take a picture. Once we were finally able to start walking towards the beach, we got to the edge of the parking lot and it was covered with red dirt because there was some construction and I was wearing white sandals and did not want to walk in that. He thought this was perfect because it would buy him a few extra minutes for us to walk back to his truck and drive us across the street to the boardwalk (all to save my shoes!). As we were getting out of the car, he told me to grab my phone for the picture because his camera had sort of stopped working the day before. Once we get to the sand, we both went to take our shoes off, and naturally I was just going to carry my shoes with me, but he was getting flustered and told me to put them down with his and then asked why I had my phone, which I then reminded him that he asked me to take it. He told me he'd put it in his pocket until we took the picture so I didn't have to carry it and we started walking towards the water where he turned me around and got down on one knee and pulled out a Little Blue Box! And of course, I said Yes!
After taking some pictures and calling all of our family and friends, we went back to the condo where his sister had gone in and put flowers everywhere, along with bunch of pictures hanging on some twinkle lights from when we started dating. It was so thoughtful and sweet, and way more than I could have ever imagined. It was truly perfect. The photographer he hired, Laura Jennings Photography, to capture the moment was also amazing. She was so fun to work with and would recommend to anyone in the PCB area looking for a photographer. This past year has been filled with so many exciting moments, and none of it would have been possible without the support of my family and Bill. I am forever grateful and thankful for them. Now time to celebrate!