DESIGN YOUR LIFE: kiley of off randolph

When scouting for a DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviewee this week, I turned to my fellow Jess LC intern, Kiley. Kiley is one of those girls who has everything going for her: looks, smarts, talent, drive, and did I mention the girl can dress? You can see for yourself on her style blog, Off Randolph. At the same time, she’s one of the nicest and most down to earth girls you’ll meet. She’s jetting off to Italy soon for a semester abroad, so I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to ask her to share her intentions with us. Thanks for sharing, Kiley! Enjoy!  -Caitlin

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Kiley of Off Randolph

To me, this comes above all. I often find myself saying “I’m too busy” to keep in touch with certain people, only to realize that instead of pressing snooze five times that morning I could have called my cousin who lives in a different state or an old friend. My latest goal has been to make time for those people in my life that I love, but don’t talk to nearly enough, because ultimately those relationships are the most precious things in our short life.

This Fall, instead of heading back down to Nashville, where I’m a student at Vanderbilt, I leave for Italy to study abroad for the semester. This summer has been spent preparing, getting excited, attempting to fit everything I want to pack in one checked bag (whoever made that rule was surely a man), but mostly hearing tips from everyone about how to best take advantage of my time in Europe. The thing that I hear most is “depth over breadth”; instead of racing through every European city I’m dying to see (that would be all of them), I hope to really experience a smaller number of cities, make lasting relationships with people I would not have met otherwise, and go off the beaten path in each place I have the opportunity to spend time.

I may be alone on this one, but I probably spend over an hour every day dreaming—in class, on the bus, while I walk, everywhere. And while I have no idea what my future job will be or what my future home will look like, I think there is a certain importance in dreaming because without the dreams to start out with, there is no hope of them becoming a reality.

The idea of giving back is huge to me—HUGE. Growing up, I was never a sports person or a theater person or an artsy person. I was, however, a huge fan of school and wanted to take classes all year round (weird kid, I know). One summer I took a class called Youth and Society, which exposed me to a different non-profit organization in Chicago each day. Volunteering almost every day that summer was the most satisfying thing I could have done with my time; making others happy is definitely one of the keys to being happy yourself.

In a perfect world, we’d all immediately succeed in whatever we set out to do, but that doesn’t sound like a very interesting world to me. Planning on making mistakes helps me deal with them when they happen and more importantly, learn from them quickly. Knowing that I’ll make more mistakes than I’d probably like to makes it easier to aim higher since I’ve accepted mistakes as something good in life.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I love this list.  As I was scrolling down the page, I realized I resonated so much with all of your intentions.  I especially agree with Daydream.  The name of my blog is Daydreamer and your intention basically articulates why I named it that in the first place.  If you can’t visualize your own dreams and goals, they’re probably never going to happen.  Thanks so much for sharing and have an amazing time in Italy!

  2. Jessica

    I love this series and the inspiring, clear format. I feel inspired after reading about Kiley! A beauty inside and out.

  3. All great points here and man, you have me wishing I was going off to study abroad this fall! 🙂 A girl can dream.

    I would say the biggest resounding YES to make mistakes. I haven’t made enough mistakes and have been to careful in my young adulthood and I wish I would have let myself be a little more vulnerable sometimes in friendships, career, dreaming, etc.

  4. Fran

    The thing about the one checked bag is that you’ll shop while you’re there as well… I am German and spent a year abroad in the states – I might as well have brought enough clothing for the first week and left the rest. But of course you can’t be sure it’ll work out that way. A friend of mine made everyone who visited her take back one bag of her stuff.

    I totally agree with depth over breadth, as well as the daydreaming!

    Have an amazing time in Italy, it will fly by so fast!

  5. Lori

    The daydreaming holds true for me too! In fact, when I notice that I’m on edge or feeling a bit out of balance, if I think back to the previous days, I usually realize that there hasn’t been some time to daydream and reflect. I have to make it a part of my day or I just don’t feel quite right….

Leave a Reply