Weekend Coffee Share: New Apartment

If we were having coffee we would be sitting in my unmade bed (the sheets are in the dryer) with Leslie Knope, my new cat. If we were having coffee, I would probably make you help me move my dresser out of the living room and into my new room, once we finished our coffees of course

If were having coffee I would talk too much because I’ve been alone in my apartment for two days with only my cat to talk to. I would tell you all about my new job and how I’m so excited to dive in with the real work this week.

If we were having coffee, after I went on and on about my job, I might ask you how you’re doing and what’s new with you, but it is sometimes more like me just to keep talking about myself. So then I would go on and on about how this blogging transition has been hard for me and content creating has become difficult. Not because I don’t like it, but because I’ve just been in a rut with my thoughts and ideas. I’m either too ambitious or too underwhelming.

If we were having coffee, I would probably give your the mini tour of my new apartment, and it would definitely be a mini tour. I’d tell you how excited I am to have an office, but since we’re still unpacking it’s pretty much unusable. I would also show you the coffee maker so we could make a second cup. Then we would go back to my bare bed because the dryer takes forever.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what I should wear to work tomorrow, and then tell you about my idea for a photo shoot of different work outfits but I lack a photographer, since that is what I do for others. I would also tell you about all the ideas for that I would need help to accomplish which is sometimes very frustrating.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you for advice– what should I do with my life? Like yes, I have a job and I love it, but what should I be doing with the rest of my time, certainly not just watching Netflix and coloring like I have been. I just want to know what’s next.

If we were having coffee and our time was up, I would walk you to the door and thank you for coming. “I’ll see you next weekend my friend.”

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You Only Live Once?

YOLO

Okay so yes, this is super cliche title and I wish I could say I hate when people say this, but I really take this statement to heart. I am a full believer that you really need to take advantage of every opportunity and every experience that you can because of this.

I have some issues with FOMO. I’m always afraid that by not taking an experience I’m going to miss something great, but I’m also afraid that if I take it I’ll miss something just as important. When I was deciding to study abroad this was something I struggled with because I knew I would miss out on stuff at home, but if I decided not to do it it’s something I would have regretted the rest of my life, which is how I feel about a lot of my decisions.

The problem I bring it all back to is anxiety. When I went to Rhode Island last summer no one else wanted to look at the sailboats when we stopped on the way home, I’m still mad at myself for not going to look. I just have this huge regret mindset for some reason and it drives me crazy. I think this makes me the type of person to say yes even when I maybe shouldn’t.

I want to do it all. That’s my problem, my fear of missing something because opportunities only arise so often that I fear if I don’t take them I’m going to miss something great. In the end, if I miss something, I just have to trust that it wasn’t meant to be, which just takes a lot of convincing on my part.

Does anyone else feel this way or am I on my own?

I guess my advice for anyone on this problem would be do as much as you can so you can live without regret, and if you do miss an opportunity, there has to be a reason why you couldn’t do it, but don’t make those excuses so you don’t do something. We are only on the Earth for so long so you might as well make the best of it and thank God for every second.

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Anxiety and Traveling.

travel and anxiety

Anxiety and traveling for some people aren’t a good mix. For some people who don’t suffer from general anxiety like myself, they can suffer from travel anxiety. The act of traveling alone can cause anxious feelings and can even result in panic attacks which can seriously make a vacation turn sour.

One of my biggest fears since I deal with anxiety is letting it ruin things I want to do, and one of the main things I want to do in life is travel. Because of this I do try to take my traveling as relaxed, simple, and as smooth as possible. So here are some tips so that you can do the same!

  1. Keep mental list of where all of your important documents are. If you’re going international be sure to keep your passport and boarding pass together, as well as any other documents you might be. For example in the fall when I get off the plane I’ll make sure to have my passport and entry note in my hand.
  2. Have a plan for the travels. If it’s a new airport, look up where your terminal is online. Know where you’re supposed to go and be. Have print out directions and use your phone or GPS to travel. It often helps if you have various sources to ensure you’re traveling to the right place.
  3. Have a plan for the arrival. If you have something to look forward to it can make the traveling process seem more worth it. If you have anxiety about being away from home, you can do a countdown of day until you get to leave, just don’t forget to enjoy your time away. If the journey makes you anxious looking forward to what the reward is can really help to relax your mind.
  4. Bring comforts. For some the unfamiliarity of traveling can cause anxiety, if you have something that comforts you and you have the ability to bring it along, do it. It’ll definitely make the journey easier.
  5. Know things can go wrong. I honestly go into everything expecting the worst. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you travel, if you’re prepared for them it won’t make them seem as bad.
  6. Be early. I know this is like my life motto, if you aren’t early you’re late, but when it comes to travelling it’s true. I would rather sit in an airport for three hours and people watch than trying to rush through security and running to my terminal. Same goes for driving, you can’t always plan for traffic. Leave early. Always be early. Rushing can cause anxiety, so the less of it you can do the better.
  7. Plan ahead. When you set an agenda and plans months in advance you can start to prepare your mind for the travels. If you have your mind prepared you will be prepared and less anxious. This really helps for just keeping a sound mind.
  8. Be ready for panic attacks. Be ready to calm yourself down. If you can have exit strategies, if you can’t try to have someone with you who understands. If you can’t do that either, make sure if anyone notices they understand what is going on. The last thing you want is a lot of attention because it will only fuel the anxiety. If you’re on the plane take a little walk through the aisles so you feel less claustrophobic. If you are in a car, pull over. Know how to slow down the panic or stop it, or know techniques that work for other people. It really is the worse case scenario that this would happen, but it does, and helps if you are prepared.
  9. Create a happy place. Make a distraction from whatever is stressing you out. Try to focus on something that doesn’t fuel the anxiety. Make a happy place in your mind where you can go when you close your eyes.
  10. Take a break. When you feel anxious sometimes you need a break. You just need to take a step back and breathe. Walk away, refresh your mind, don’t forget to drink lots of water. Take care of yourself. If you have to remove yourself, do it. You know your limits, don’t forget them.

Don’t let anxiety ruin adventure and travel for you. There’s so much to see and do in the world, and if you don’t want to see it that’s okay, but if you do, don’t let anxiety take that away. I am so afraid of that, but it also helps me be aware. You can travel with anxiety, it doesn’t have to stop you, I refuse to let it stop me.

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Beauty.

Beauty always seems to be a discussion, skinny-shaming, fat-shaming, whether or not a famous person has gained/lost too much weight, whether or not someone is even just pretty. My question is why does it matter?

There are days where I feel beautiful, and even the days where I feel fat and disgusting I tell myself I am because I wish I would have heard someone growing up saying they were pretty. Also if you say something enough you’ll start to believe it.

I don’t know why we have to comment on whether or not we think other people are ugly or pretty or whether we think they’re too fat or curvy or too thin or would look better if they did “x” or if they didn’t do “y”, it’s honestly no ones business but their own. Why do you think so many people struggle with body and self confidence issues? It’s not all internal, the internal factors come from outside factors.

It makes me sad to see everyone around me pick at the things they hate about themselves rather than embrace every great thing about them. I know I’m guilty of this as well but I hate that. I hate that we are assimilated into this culture where it is the normal thing not to like yourself. I hope that when I have kids they never push away their fat on their stomachs. I hope they don’t try and hide their flabby chin, I hope they embrace everything that’s great about them rather than only seeing everything that’s wrong with them.

Also, I don’t understand why there is so much negativity towards people when they try to embrace their imperfections and see themselves for who they really are. Sure, there are the immediate circles who are so supportive and are really happy for you, but then there are those people who are so judgemental who seem like they don’t really want happiness for others, they can only be happy if others are suffering and as soon as someone is confident in themselves they start to lose control of the situation. These can be people you know once you start to love yourself, or even strangers.

I see this with people talking about Meghan Trainor. I don’t know much about her, but apparently her song trying to give curvy girls a little more confidence was too upsetting to the girls that every song has catered to previously. Her audience is just different, and the line where she says “skinny bitches” she makes the remark that they are just as perfect as everyone else. Again, other than this one song, I don’t know much about her other than that song makes me happy and feel a little bit better about myself and I shouldn’t have to feel bad about that.

So stop judging every person around you, let them be them. You don’t need to be the person that makes them question their beauty. Let people feel beautiful. Encourage them, don’t discourage them. People are hard enough on themselves, they don’t need everyone else making them feel worse. Also try to say one nice thing about yourself everyday, it will help your self confidence and help you to feel better and see yourself as the beautiful person you really are.

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How to be Mary

becoming mary

I’m not saying anyone wants to be me or anything, but here are some tips on how to be me if you would like to be.

  1. Always get dressed in the dark. That way incase anyone asks “What’d you do get dressed in the dark?” you can always say yes.
  2. Don’t brush your hair.
  3. Always say yes, especially when you should say no but you feel obligated to something anyway.
  4. Sit for hours staring at an empty word document waiting for something to fill the pages you need.
  5. Finger paint.
  6. Get really frustrated at everything and try not to cry.
  7. Email everyone in a group project a million times a day.
  8. Apply for so many jobs.
  9. Try super hard to blog and fail.
  10. Try and find a different t-shirt to wear, but end up wearing one of ten you always wear.
  11. Ask a million pointless questions to see if your friends get annoyed. If they don’t or don’t show it, they’re really good friends.
  12. Talk about how much you hate washing your hair, and see how long you can go without washing it before you’re disgusted. It’s never more than a day, keep that in mind.
  13. Think about and plan everything for the future. Do nothing to achieve that.
  14. Internally perpetually complain about the school’s wifi, when at home yell about how the school wifi is so much better.
  15. Think about how much you want to go to Target, go to Target and either buy things you don’t need and forget what you need or just don’t buy anything at all.
  16. Think about and tweet at IHOP constantly because that’s how much you love them.
  17. Weigh your options for the future and relook all the freakout class planning schedules previously made.
  18. Craft as much as you can as often as you can.
  19. Complain about everyone who doesn’t do their job properly, do it for them.
  20. Outwardly be self-confident so people think you are, no matter how fat you feel that day.
  21. Avoid real pants as often as possible.
  22. Don’t talk to any guys, but complain when no guys like you.
  23. Constantly remind yourself to breathe.
  24. Watch a lot of bad movies but find all the great qualities within them.
  25. Spend too much time on the internet doing nothing.

This is a joke post, I mean I hope you don’t take my advice. Reminder to always be  your own person and never let anyone change who you are.

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You First.

There’s a whiteboard on my closet so when I sit up in my bed it’s the first thing I see. For the longest time I had “Take care of YOU first!” and I think that is one of the most important messages I can give myself, or anyone for that matter.

I have this habit of putting everyone before me, like I’m that person the airplanes make the announcement to adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs because my first instinct would be to make sure everyone around me is okay. There’s nothing wrong with that, at all, but sometimes you have to put yourself first.

For me it’s easy to forget about myself and put everyone before me which is why I put that reminder at the foot of my bed so in the morning I would take my vitamins and drink some water. I think everyone needs this reminder- it’s okay to put yourself first. There’s this idea where you have to make everyone think your life is completely perfect- well how do you make your life seem completely perfect if you don’t take the time to take care of yourself? People can usually tell when you aren’t taking care of yourself. I know I might be perceived that way often just by my physical appearance but I think that when I start to slip people can notice. Like I’m definitely not happy when I stop taking care of myself.

There are some people who think that you can only find love once you love yourself. I think that this is partially true. Like I believe that if you can’t be happy with yourself you can’t be in a trusting relationship, you’re never going to be able to take the compliments or the good things someone has to say about you. However, I think that someone could help you to see how wonderful you are, so I believe this is both true and false.

I think as society we need to put ourselves first more. I know there are times in your life where obviously everyone goes before you because that will help everyone in the long run, but can you really help anyone if you aren’t helping yourself first? How can you improve anyone’s life when yours is the last thing on your mind? You can’t burn out before you look and examine your own life, do you know what I mean? There’s so much in your life that you have to evaluate before you can worry about other people. Focus on yourself, because sometimes that’s really the most important thing to do.

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Mary’s Blogging Tips

blogging tips

This post may seem like a stretch after yesterdays but I thought it would be important to share the things I have discovered in my year and a half of blogging- the majority of that daily blogging.

  1. Write about your own interests not what you think interests other people. I’ve made the mistake of doing makeup posts or things that I think people would read and they end up being very popular posts but they aren’t well done or things I would consider my best work.
  2. Numbers don’t matter. I often get distracted by the number of people reading, the number of likes, and the number of comments. The happier I am with the content the less I care about the numbers- produce the content you care about and the numbers will begin to reflect your passions.
  3. Don’t pressure yourself. You don’t need to put pressure onto yourself to be the best blogger ever. If you don’t want to do it, don’t. If you don’t want people to know, don’t tell them. Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
  4. Save drafts. This is something I am constantly learning the hardway considering I never write a post all at once. I put my computer down for five minutes and the next thing I know the internet has crashed three times and there goes any progress I have made. I even lost the first draft of this post which made me add this to the list. There is nothing worse than losing an hour or two worth of work just because you didn’t click save.
  5. Check spelling and grammar. I need to do this more and proofread more often. No one wants to read anything that’s filled with mistakes. I know my posts probably have a lot of mistakes because I hate to proofread and check my work but don’t do what I do and actually check your work! Most host sites provide a spell check service as do most internet browsers- utilize them.
  6. Always write. Even if you aren’t going to hit publish on a post- write it anyway. It keeps the creative juices flowing and it helps to promote a writer’s mind. The more you write, the more you can write.
  7. Find time.  Time needs to be put into every hobby it turns into a question of how much time do you want to put into blogging? Personally I would like to achieve around  5 blog posts a week with each having about two or three hours work into them, I know this will vary. I would say most people probably post once or twice a week but really it’s what makes you comfortable.
  8. Be passionate. People can tell when you are passionate and knowledgeable about what you write compared to how you are when you are neutral or don’t really care about a subject- show it in your writing.
  9. Make friends. Don’t be afraid of talking to bloggers and commenters. I have met people here that I would consider to be great friends. I talk to them on a regular or semiregular basis we are friends with each other on social media, we have built a relationship that’s more than bloggers who read each other’s thoughts.
  10. Use pictures. Don’t be afraid to add color to words. It really helps. If you don’t take them yourself make sure you give credit but the more you can add to a post the better. Long, lengthy posts are great but some people need a visual with that so add it!

Here are my top ten blogging tips! What are some of yours?

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Ignore Problems: They Still Exist

I have this huge problem where I think if I ignore a problem for long enough it will just cease to exist. For example today I ordered gloves. It’s mid-January and I live in-between my house in Lancaster PA and Northern Maryland, it’s been winter for a good two months in the areas. Like it’s snowed at least three times since I’ve been home and I just ordered gloves for the winter. My chapped and cold hand have been shoved in my pockets since I broke out the winter jacket in late October/ early November just because I thought my hands wouldn’t be cold if I ignored the problem.

I think this is something I have always done and something I will probably always do. If you ignore something long enough it will just go away, this is false, it will probably get worse. You can’t just pretend a problem doesn’t exist, it seems like a really good tactic but it’s not. If we could just ignore problems then there wouldn’t be things like war, because we could just ignore a country causing problems and they would cease to exist to us. Which would be good, but also bad because you have to face all of your problems.

Problems suck plain and simple but there isn’t much you can do to avoid them. You can pretend they don’t exist, you can try and hide from them, you can procrastinate and try to hide but eventually face them, or you can just face them right away. It’s usually best to just face them right off the bat. I mean I’m not comparing my glove problem to any other problem because it’s really not that big of a problem but I should’ve just bought a pair one of the million times I was at Target because I go there all the time.

Face your problems head on because the longer you wait to deal with them the worse they’re going to get. Take my advice and don’t buy your gloves in mid-January.

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My Life, Just Mine.

I knowingly put a lot of information about my life on the internet, personal details that most people would be less willing to share, however this does not mean that I am subjecting myself to pointless questions and being told what to do via people I know in real life simply because of what they would do in my shoes. Sure, sometimes I ask for advice, but when I don’t, I don’t need the comments like “well why wouldn’t you do *insert something I don’t want to do*” “If you do that then you have to do this” or my favorite “I just don’t  understand why you can’t/won’t do *something I can’t or won’t do*”. I am very well aware that people have their opinions but I don’t know why they need to be shared if I’m not asking and it doesn’t affect you.

My choice not to drink has seemed to bother people in the past, which I don’t understand. The fact that I don’t see the need to not remember my night for some reason really gets to people as if me getting drunk provides some sort of good deed to them. The pressure that friends have put on me in the past has only further hindered any desire I’ve had to drink underage, or ever for that matter. I don’t understand how this is anyone’s business but my own, however everyone likes to put in their two cents on the matter anyway.

Again, I willingly put mostly every detail about my personal life on the internet for all to see, I mean for some odd reason over 300 people have decided to follow this blog and anywhere from 40-100 people read it a day which gives a lot of people a lot of information about my life and that really doesn’t bother me. However, unless I am asking directly for advice or what I should do in a situation I don’t know why people give so much input on my life, does this happen to everyone or just me?

I hear this happens a lot as you get older, especially when you’re pregnant/parenting/having kids while I don’t expect that to happen for a while I cannot believe how many people, strangers that I just randomly meet, even have input on my life decisions. Last year during my first week of classes a guy asked me my major and I said “Communications and maybe political science or something like that, I really like his—” before I could even finish my sentence out of his mouth came “Why would you want to do anything like that? The best majors are the sciences and math, I’m Computer Science, you should really look into it, it’s so great!” He went on and on about how great his major was before I could even finish the question he asked and I had just met him that day! It’s my life, I didn’t know him, and I don’t know how my decision to go into the humanities affects him so much that he had to go on a rant about how great his major was. Just because he was happy and content with his field of study it doesn’t mean that’s how I would feel there, especially with what I started telling him this. It happened again recently when a friend had to go to the hospital and the man taking her blood was asking about our majors since the hospital is right next to the school, and he said “Communications?! What on earth can you do with that?” and I don’t know how to respond to questions that I get like this (all the time, usually not from complete strangers) because I don’t know what exactly I want to do. However, why does it matter to him what I’m going to do with my degree? It doesn’t affect him whether I go onto great things at a newspaper or God forbid I end up at Starbucks, it doesn’t change his life at all.

What I’m trying to get across here, is unless someone asks for your opinion or advice there’s really no point in giving it. If I’m answering your question, why tell me how wrong I am? What’s the point? I can do my life and you can do yours and we can live in harmony, but my choice to not do drugs, not have sex until I’m married, to be a communications major, and doing my life the way I want to, doesn’t affect anyone else but me and the people it directly relates to and the unneeded commentary about my personal decisions can stop at anytime please and thank you.

Does anyone else have this problem or just me?

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Words are Scary

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As someone who loves to write it’s odd that I’m afraid of words or maybe that’s why they’re so scary to me. For most people I think words are just a means of communication, however they are so much more. The order of words and the way you emphasize certain ones or the choice of words themselves can entirely change the meaning of what you are trying to portray.

I don’t think I’m always the best with words, I chose the wrong ones and end up with my foot in my mouth quite often. It’s hard for me to determine what words are deemed appropriate for the situation and what are not. There are too many choices and when you say the first choice that comes to your head it’s not going to be quite the right one.

I think it’s easier to say the wrong thing because there is the perfect way to say the right thing but a thousand different ways to say the wrong thing. That’s really scary to me because I usually try to think before I talk but sometimes I don’t and I’m afraid of offending people when I don’t try it. I mean sometimes I try to offend people and then I pick the right words but sometimes I do it not on purpose and I end up feeling really bad.

Words can also be interpreted differently, you can read something wrong especially now in the texting era. There are so many different ways to read a text and unless you’re putting out an entire paragraph to explain every joke it’s so easy for things to get interpreted wrong. Jokes and sarcasm can be taken seriously and if you don’t explain yourself things can end up wrong, this is one of the few times when I can see technology interfering with our everyday lives. Sharing your thoughts on social media can also be dangerous. You have to watch what you say because subtweets are a thing and even if you don’t mean it, they can be taken in such a way where someone will question you as a person. That’s public for the world to see and it never goes away.

Words are more powerful than you think. Keep that in mind.

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