My Wild Ride…

Wow, what a week! I’ve finally made it back to Melbourne after a hectic travel situation Wednesday and Thursday. My original flight to Atlanta on Wednesday got delayed, so I was going to miss my connection to Melbourne. I switched my flight to connect in Detroit and land in Orlando instead…except the flight to Detroit got delayed, too! I would have missed my connection to Orlando. My final option was to get back on the original Atlanta flight and fly into Daytona instead, but I wouldn’t have been home until 3:00am. I definitely wasn’t doing that to my parents!

Thankfully, my aunt came to my rescue Wednesday night, and I spent the night at her house before flying out Thursday morning to Orlando. As I write this, I’m happily sitting on the plane! The only issue I’m having is that my phone has another ticket for me to fly back to Cincinnati 15 minutes after I land in Orlando. I asked Delta why that is and they have no idea…so let’s hope my bag gets off this flight with me!

Looking back on my trip, I’m beginning to realize how much I learned…I undoubtedly got to practice my virtues of flexibility and patience on Wednesday and Thursday, but I also was reassured that my future is going to turn out alright after all. As I talked about in my last post, I know in my heart that Cincinnati will be my future home after graduate school. Between the people, culture, and job opportunities, I truly feel at home there. If you want to read more about that, check out my last post.

I was also able to come up with a plan for graduate school that actually pulls at my heartstrings. For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know my plans have always been up in the air. I pick one thing, but then my interests change. I pick another and a roadblock arises.

Sure enough, the latter is what happened with the Human Resources plan. I came to find out that most masters’ programs in this field only admit people with 1-5 years of work experience, which obviously disqualifies me. Yeah, I could go work for a little before getting my master’s, but I really want to go straight through.

It was a bit of a bummer to find that out, but it’s funny how God works. He’s placed a great desire in my heart to help people and complimented that with a love for nutrition and health. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to be a dietitian, but I still have a passion for holistic wellness…mind, body, and spirit. That’s why I wanted to go into Human Resources, so I could build programs to build others.

But that plan was missing one key element…the body. Sure, I could grow the minds and spirits of others through various programs, but there was very little I could do to ensure their physical being was in a good place.

So as I was scrolling through prospective programs and thinking about old ones, I centered on the fact that I love to help people and have a passion for health…and sure enough, God placed the perfect path in my lap a few days later…

A Dual Master’s in Public Health and Social Work. With the Health Behavior and Promotion concentration of a Public Health degree, I’ll be able to educate about the body, mind, and spirit while learning the hard skills necessary to establish successful programs in these fields. With the Social Work degree, I’ll gain vital soft skills like listening, empathy, and compassion. All of which are crucial to creating a program people can adhere to and ensuring that the needs of each individual person are addressed.

So with that, I’ll be able to work as a Wellness Manager, Director of Corporate Wellness, or anywhere along those lines. What’s great is that after I graduate, I could even focus completely on Public Health, Social Work, or something completely different. The combination of these two degrees will give me such a wide variety of skills that are transferable to almost any career.

And when I think about all the things I’ve explored…psychology, nutrition, public health, anthropology, and business…this path seems to tie them all together in a beautiful way. All of those classes I thought I took for nothing will end up paying off.

It’s all going to work out 🙂

Okay, so now the question of the post…where do I want to go to graduate school? Easy! The University of Michigan. I know, I know. It’s going to be cold, but if there’s one school that’s always pulled at my heartstrings, it’s Michigan.

My first time at UM was for my cousin’s graduation with a, funny enough, Master’s of Social Work degree. Although the wind chill was -20 degrees and I couldn’t feel my feet for three days, I was in heaven. The way the snow fell on the ground and glittered the campus was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. And after trudging through a 3-foot tall snow bank, I made it inside the most pristine and awe-inspiring buildings I had ever seen. The people were very personable, the school pride is strong, and its graduates have no problem finding jobs.

I loved UM so much that when I was on the dietitian path, I actually toured their program. That’s when it really hit me how much I loved the place. To tell you the truth, I never really thought I would like a college town…but the minute I set foot on that campus I knew it was going to be my future home. Even between all my career path changes, the first school I always checked for a prospective program was Michigan…and sure enough it was when I was scrolling through their website that I came across the MPH/MSW degree and felt my heart leap for joy.

And maybe that doesn’t sound like a sign, but God put little hints throughout my visit to Cincinnati that Michigan was to be my next step. On Saturday, I walked into a Cincinnati pride store looking for a cool, local shirt to bring home. What’s the first shirt I saw? A University of Michigan one (yes, I did buy it haha). When driving down the interstate with my aunt and talking about the future, what car did I get stuck behind? One with a Michigan sticker. When I randomly decided to get my aunt’s mail, the first letter was a card from University of Michigan. Call those coincidences, but for me they sealed the deal.

Yeah, I still have to get in, but I feel a peace amidst my excitement that I haven’t experienced in a long, long time. And it’s the peace that comes with knowing everything is going to be okay.

My aunt shared a quote with me this past week that I don’t remember exactly, but it’s essence was that the closer you grow to God, the more narrow your focus becomes and the less anxiety and fear you experience.

I’m closer to God now than I ever have been. I’ve been trying my best to put everything in His control and to do His will. And after years of practice, He finally placed the answer in my lap. Though I wish it had come sooner (that would have saved me a lot of stress), it eventually came.

And like I said earlier, it seems like everything I’ve done culminates perfectly into this next step. Everything I’ve done that hasn’t had a really good explanation, like this internship with the Alzheimer’s Association as a Community Educator, actually aligns with my future goals. It all makes sense now.

So if I had one message to give you this weekend, it would be to rest assured knowing that everything is going to be okay as long as you put it in God’s hands. He’s going to lead you into situations in life that are painful, confusing, and unclear…situations that you have absolutely no idea why you are experiencing. You might feel ignored or unloved at some points. You might even question your faith. I did.

But He’s always listening. He always has a plan. He knows what the end destination is, even if you don’t.

In a way, that’s scary because it requires us to surrender our reigns into His hands…but at the same time that’s beautiful because all we have to do is listen for His subtle cues and follow them with the awareness that He knows best.

And I can tell you the moment you do so, life becomes a whole lot easier and way more enjoyable.

So to end, I’ll leave you with one question…

Have you put it in God’s hands today?

And before I close, I have a few announcements! First, what I thought was the perfect name for this website, Taking Back Today, was taken before I could claim the domain 😦 BUT! I have a new plan…

The new URL for this website is going to be my name: http://www.davidgaviria.com. After speaking with my entrepreneurial cousin, I’ve realized that I’m a brand at this point, and I need to start acting like it. In all humbleness, what I talk about here is unique because it comes from my personal experiences, so why not name the website after myself? Plus, it’s easy to remember!

But I still love Taking Back Today, so I’m going to use it as the website’s slogan. Now when you put in http://www.davidgaviria.com, it’ll say “Taking Back Today” on the homepage instead of “Break Free Nutrition”.

That change will go into effect over the weekend, but I’ll take care of changing all the links, so all you have to do is click on the post.

And to counteract Facebook’s new policy, I’ve created a new Facebook page just for this website. IMPORTANT…to get the posts on your page, please link and like the page.

And lastly, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the books and podcasts I listen to that help me become the best version of myself. So with my cousin’s help, we created a new page on this website called “Favorites” that is filled with resources. You can find it by clicking here. If you want to purchase any of the books or visit the podcasts’ pages, you can click on the links provided, and they will take you directly to them! I’m pretty excited about this, if you can’t tell.

That’s it! As always, thank you for reading this very lengthy post. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share! I’ll talk to you on Monday 🙂

“He who began good work in you will carry it on to completion.” ~ Philippians 1:6

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