Why Start a Blog?

Chances are if you found this post you’re on the fence about blogging, well I’m here to tell you why you should and how it will positively impact your life.

  1. It’s fun! Blogging is a good and creative outlet for all of your thoughts that get stuck in your head. You have something to look forward to when you’re bored or have an idea and you have somewhere to put it.
  2. The people and community. I have found that the people in the blogging world and the community that they hold together is simply amazing. While I may not have my own niche community (yet) I have found some great friends and people that have turned into friends, even though I have never actually met them.
  3. Learning more about yourself and the things you love. With communities, commenters, and friends you never knew shared common interests you can learn a lot about the things you love. However, in addition, just by writing consistently you can learn a lot about yourself.
  4. Remembering to write down and document all the really cool stuff that happens to you. There are things I would forget about if I didn’t blog about them. It’s like a virtual, public diary for me. It lets me remember all of the good things that have happened over the past four years (maybe some of the bad too but that’s okay) and that knowledge can help you grow.
  5. Writing helps everything. There is proof that writing is good for you. It stops you from forgetting a lot when you get old. It’s yet to work for me, but hey, it’s worth a try!
  6. Get different opinions! Tired of hearing the same things from your friends? Well ask some internet friends, get a new perspective on a problem you feel like you have exhausted your options on. Share stories of how other opinions have impacted your decision making!
  7. Peer validation!  I mean I’m not saying I need and/or crave peer validation, but it does make me feel better about myself. It helps me from feeling as if I’m the only one facing problems and that there are other people in the same exact place as me. On the other hand, it’s also nice to know people like my blog (if I’m going to get real honest here).
  8. Simple but still creative. Making a pretty website and expressing yourself in your own way can be so simple today. It doesn’t take a lot to click your favorite theme and run with it. You can still be creative with your writing and graphics, but there are very simple ways to handle it.
  9. Simply being creative. (Get it play from tip 8 I’m hilarious) Everyone should just be creative. Take the time and energy and put it into something you love. You have something you like, make it creative and put it in a blog!
  10. Share your thoughts/views/opinions! Everyone thinks, has views and opinions, so why not share them? Why not share your love of tomatoes, fashion, being a mom, makeup, or really just love of anything. There are people out there that you never knew shared the same interests.

Share with me why you started blogging and why you stuck with it! Don’t have a blog yet? Tell me what’s holding you up!

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Pause

via Daily Prompt: Pause

I saw the Daily Prompt for today was “Pause” and it ties in a little too perfectly with my life right now.

I keep hitting the fast forward button when I should be hitting pause. I shouldn’t be wishing my last six weeks of college away, yet here I am staring at my semi-daunting to-do list not wanting to do any of it.

I’m waiting for the end of the week, waiting to hear if I got a job or two, or none. But I shouldn’t be waiting for that moment. I should be savoring every moment. Cherishing the time I spend with the kids I watch because soon (well hopefully) I’ll be working full time and I probably won’t be a nanny anymore. I should be taking mental pictures of every meal with my roommates, every time I walk across the cherry-blossom filled campus, and just every little moment that I can hold on to, I should be holding on.

I’ve reached a point where I’m so focused on whatever’s next that I’m not pausing anymore, when really I should be pausing more. No more fast forward, just a nice hold down on the pause so it’s almost a stop.

My mom told me when I was starting high school that life would only get faster, I don’t know if I didn’t believe her, or just didn’t know what she was talking about, but she was right. I’ve been blogging for three and a half years, it feels like it was just yesterday I was cursing WordPress for being stupid (eh could’ve been yesterday) but my time online and in college has been flying by. I can’t believe that I’m graduating in six weeks, but here I am wishing I was graduating tomorrow just to get on with the next part of life.

I think that’s probably not just a me problem, even more of a societal problem. We’re so focused on the future, what are we doing this weekend, next week, the next deadline. We forget to focus on what is happening right now. Right now is what really matters. Maybe we all need to take some time and just pause.

So take a moment, pause, reflect, think about right now. Right now, I’m at work, right now, I’m at a decent place in my life, right now.

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Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee you’d be sitting on the other side of the couch at the home I babysit at every Sunday. We would be watch “13 Reasons Why” and I would be ranting about how much I hate boys and I just want to meet a nice man that treats me right and how I hope so badly it’s the one that’s talking to me now. Then I’d tell you that I don’t think it is, which makes me feel conflicted as conflicted can be.

If we were having coffee I’d be sipping my second big cup of the day. Trying to get rid of the headache, the tiredness I’ve been feeling from barely sleeping the past few weeks, and most importantly, just trying to enjoy the taste and calming down.

If we were having coffee I’d pour you a nice big cup. We would talk about all of the things that have been bothering me. My blog, boys, jobs, everything. I would vent, and then let you vent. I’d probably interrupt because that’s probably my worst habit of all. I’d complain about not knowing what to make for dinner, my diet, and then I would whisper “I’ll probably just go to Subway again.”

If we were having coffee, I’d let you know that I think it’s weird the baby has been sleeping for three hours, but I wouldn’t complain. Trust me I’m thankful. I would then go on to show you pictures of how cute he is, and how thankful I am for all of the wonderful families have allowed me to watch over their children this year.

If we were having coffee, I would probably go on a feminist rant, tell you about how much I love social media, and how I wish my blog would thrive. I’d have a lot to say, but at the same time, nothing at all. I’d open up like I used to on my blog. Before I went public with it, before I was applying for jobs, and before when I didn’t have many friends. I’d share my worries, my thoughts, and my doubts.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you want another cup but pour you another no matter what the answer was. The truth is, on Sundays I get to a point where I desperately need to talk to an adult so I wouldn’t really want you to leave.

If we were having coffee, I’d have to eventually excuse myself to get the crying baby and I’d thank you for joining me. I’d invite you back next week and be so happy for my friendships with you.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 27

It has been quite sometime that I’ve ventured to this little corner of my blog, one of my previously most written in sections, I mean 27 posts is quite a few. Speaking of 27, Mary Fun Fact™ it’s my favorite number.

Recently, I have been very anxious again. I don’t know if it’s the boy stressing me out (yes of course he had to text me) or I drank too much this past weekend but I can’t shake it. It’s so annoying.

Besides the point, I have exactly two months until graduation. It’s absolutely insane. I cannot believe how quickly my time in college has gone. The past four years have flown by like no other. I remember when I finished middle school my mom was talking to my best friend and me about how quickly time was going to start going and I think about last year I realized how true that was. There’s a part of me who never wants to leave college, and then there’s a bigger part of me that’s very excited for the future.

This spring break was probably my most uneventful yet. I didn’t work, we had a snow day, and I went home for the weekend. However, other than my desire to be reading on a beach somewhere, I really appreciated all of the downtime I finally had. I probably should have done more school work than I did, but there’s a reason it’s a break.

I’m not sure what else really should be in here. I feel like there are a million things I have to say, yet nothing at the same time. I guess for now, this is my update.

What’s going on with everyone else?

Happy LNBM!

Welcoming the New Year: 2017 I’m Ready for You.

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2016 has been a rough year globally, and personally, however as December set in I began to take in about a million realizations that the new year will contain for me.

2017 is going to be a year of change, not just for me but for the world. I think there is a general consensus that 2016 was a shit year, but I’m holding out hope (and putting it into the universe) that 2017 is going to be a lot better. My goals (to be released later this week) will hold the fate of this blog, my “real” future and a bunch of other things I’m sure.

2016 brought me some good things, like I finally saw a therapist, cut off some people that were detrimental to my well-being, and God pushed me to some really good people which made for some really great friends. I hope that this  year, the friendship cycle that seems to constantly be rotating ends and the people I have found stay.

2017 will bring graduation, moves (maybe), a job (hopefully), and all around some major life changes. I don’t know if I have ever been so scared excited for a new year. It will also bring an administration I am afraid of, but will continue to pray for and protest. Women, it is time to fight for our rights, there are too many that have suffered, we can’t let it continue. Minorities, fight. Please fight. It is nearly 2017 and everyone I can’t believe there are so many large groups of being fighting for equality.

The next few days will bring reflection of old goals and the birth of new ones. I will not be posting my statistics of the year, if they’re even available this year, mostly  because there is not a single piece of me that wants to know how much they have gone down. 2017 will be different. I’m determined to make it my year.

2017, I’m ready for you.

Amidst the Rebrand

I’ve been pretty absent this year and there’s a lot of excuses I can make for it, but at the end of the day there really isn’t a reason for it other than I just was unmotivated.

Recently, I met with the career center about rebranding and what my brand should be, all of that fun stuff that I will be dealing with in the next several months. With that came some disappointment, well not quite disappointment but some confusion. While I felt really good about myself afterwards, what it has basically come down to is that I have a few options:

  1. Completely start over (not going to happen)
  2. Private things that future employers might be turned off by (i.e. my opinion)
  3. Do nothing and maybe get somewhere by the luck of the draw

While I got some great advice for what my brand should be, we talked about making everything that doesn’t fit my new brand (post-college stuff and struggles) private. I just feel so icky about doing that for some reason. I have no idea why but making parts of my blog that has really been my identity for the past three years private feels so wrong.

I also feel odd about holding back my opinions. I have a lot of them, they are no longer weekly rants (lol at the old daily blogger) but they’re still in my head. She said that things (like my Trump piece) could turn a future employer off from hiring me. At the same time, do I want to work for a company that suppresses my opinions, or support Donald Trump? The answer is a very strong no.

However, the coolest part about the whole meeting was learning how to be a mommy blogger without the kids. She explained to me that post-college life is weird, friends will leave, get married, that I’ll go through jobs and cities, and it’s just a weird time and that’s what I should be writing it. I get to write about everything I love and I don’t really have to pick a particular niche.

The future of my blog excites me. I’ve spent a lot of the time that I haven’t been blogging researching it and what to do about certain things pertaining to my blog and the “industry” as well.

The weirdest thing to me about my relationship with Mary’s Average Adventures is how afraid I am of it. I love blogging (more than anything) and I really love this site and everything I’ve created around it, but I’m so afraid to see what will happen to it. I’m afraid to see it fall or change too much. I’m afraid of forgetting about it. And really I’m afraid that I will never be the right person to let it live up to it’s full potential. I’ve treated my blog like a child to me for ages, I brag about it, tell people all the cool things that it has done for me and yet, I also don’t take care of it like I should. Oh man, if this was a real child it definitely would have been taken away from me for neglect. Well, thank goodness it can’t breathe.

Anyway, I guess this is basically just another post on what I’m doing with the site. And believe me it’s getting there. Actually within the next few days it’s going to be the 12 days of Christmas again so you’ll be hearing a lot more from me!

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Taking Care of my Anxiety

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If you’ve been around for a while, and I mean like at least a year because 2016 has the year that I don’t blog really, you know that I have struggled with anxiety for quite some time now. I got back to school this year and I couldn’t sleep through the night. I didn’t have too much going on yet, but I would still wake up in a panic thinking I had slept through my alarm or forgot to do an assignment but really I had handed in the assignment the day before and it was 3 am so I obviously hadn’t slept through my alarm.

Seeking Help

It was interrupting my life in a way that it had never done so before. My school (and I believe most schools do) offers a free counseling center for students. Since I am a senior graduating in May, I figured this was the time to start going while I still had the opportunity to go for free. I got in nearly right away and had an appointment with a woman who is now my therapist. On the first day, since I had gone so longer trying to regulate it myself through giving up caffeine, breathing techniques and a variety of other solutions I had found on the internet that did not work, she said I should consider talking to the psychiatrist.

Considering Medication

For the longest time this is something that I heavily opposed. I did not want to be medicated, I didn’t want a medicine to regulate my mood, but I wasn’t sleeping and that was effecting me as a person and I couldn’t do it that way anymore. So alas, I decided to pay him a visit. At our first session he said that I was a good candidate for medication and to be quite honest, I was really just tired of fighting my anxiety on a daily basis. The way he explained it to me is that my brain is like an accidental bicycle path. One person ran through the grass, so another person did, and then another, and eventually there was no more grass there and that’s what my anxiety did to my brain. The medication he said would be like the grass seed, helping the grass to grow, it would help my brain to return to its original form almost.

Going into the appointment I wasn’t really sure the route I was going to take. It was a lot to think about, but the exhaustion I felt from being anxious all the time was overwhelming. By the end of the appointment I decided to try medication to see if it would change anything in me.

The Battle in My Brain

I kept going to therapy, every week like clockwork. I would talk to her about my issues with newspaper, friends, and other concerns and fears that I face in life. It has been extremely beneficial to have a third-party listen and give input to what I have to say without bias other than to make me feel like I’m not crazy. However, there was still that little voice in the back of my head telling me everything I was doing wrong, making me feel like I couldn’t do a lot of things, and really just messing with me still. I have a very busy schedule right now and it has made it easier to push to the back of my mind, however, it was still there. The panic attacks lessened and I was less anxious, but any downtime that I had, I reverted back to my old ways of anxious feelings and emotions.

Back to the Psychiatrist

After a month on being on my medication, and not having the improvements that should have occurred while taking it, the psychiatrist suggested that I up my dosage. While I was hesitant at first, I am so glad that I decided to increase it. The past few days, I’ve barely felt anxious and I’ve been very happy. With the last dosage I was inexplicably happy when I would forget to take my medication which really made me want to go off of it. However, by increasing it, the past two days especially, I have been on cloud nine. I have felt extremely positive about my life. Of course it’s not perfect, I still get anxious and annoyed when I’m in a situation that I’m uncomfortable in, but it is light years away from where I used to be even just a few weeks ago.

The Take Away.

Please talk to someone if you are suffering with mental illness. My own anxiety kept me from going for so long. I was afraid of what they would say, but at the end of the day they aren’t there to judge you, they’re there to help you. If you are in college, chances are it’s probably free and it will be extremely beneficial to your mental health. Don’t wait until you are at your breaking point to go. If you in any way, shape, or form feel like your mental health is suffering– talk to someone! Chances are you will feel so much better.

I’ve decided to share this because I can only hope it will encourage someone else to do something about their mental health situation. At the end of the day, I don’t want this to be a secret, everyone close to me knows, I put it in the newspaper, because it is an amazing resource that we have readily available as college students. Medication is up to the individual, I hope that this is not a lifetime thing I need to do, however, if it will keep me from being anxious, at this point I don’t care. I want to feel better, and I want everyone suffering from mental illness to feel better.

At the end of the day you need to surround yourself with positive people who care and love you. A strong support system will really help you get through anything, even if that’s a little encouragement to talk to someone. So to my personal support system– online and off, thank you.

Take care of yourself.

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Average Adventure: Nashville, TN

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At the start of August, my family traveled from Pennsylvania to Tennessee for the wedding of a family friend. The wedding was just outside of Nashville, so before we headed to the town of the wedding we spent a few days there.

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What I found really cool about the city was the combination of new and old architecture.

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I think this AT&T building is probably one of the coolest buildings I’ve seen. It’s just so different. It kind of reminds me of a castle for some reason.

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Another view of the same building I believe.

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I don’t know if I’ve ever seen (maybe I haven’t noticed) a coffee bar before. Of course I had to go, it was pretty good. I did find the guys working super nice and the interior was pretty cool. It was right on Broadway, which is pretty  much the main tourist street in the city.

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There are a lot of Honky Tonks in Nashville, I’m not sure what it is. We did go to this one, one evening because the live music was really good and not too country for my family. It was interesting because they had two live bands one downstairs and one upstairs, the one upstairs is what we heard from outside and the one that made us go in. If you were inside you could only hear the one on the floor you were on which I don’t know how that works but I thought it was really cool.

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Think of the max number of boot stores you could picture at one time and triple it. That’s the number of boot stores in Nashville. Seriously it’s insane. My youngest sister was annoyed every time I asked if she wanted to go in to one. We actually didn’t go in to any but cowboy boots are super expensive so I didn’t really need to.

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I love fluorescent lights at night. Like signs like this make a city great in my opinion. It helps it to stand out and gives it a different charm.

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This picture is not about the fluorescent signs, but rather the amazing chocolates that this shop sells. I got the peanut butter flavor, and as a peanut butter lover, really the best option. I’d say better than a Reese’s.

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We drove here, it is a replica of the Parthenon and it’s super cool but you do have to pay to get in.  They filmed some parts of the Percy Jackson movies series here.

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Sneak peak of my favorite outfit post to come!!

 

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This was inside the of the Parthenon and this is Athena (which in the Percy Jackson movie held the ball thing). Just super cool. Thought it was nice and shiny.

Overall it was a really nice trip. It was also nice for me to get away since I didn’t do a major vacation this year. The car ride was long but it was worth it. Highly recommended weekend trip. I think it would be a little bit nicer (and cooler) for a fall trip rather than early-mid August, but still it was fun. Also getting to see old friends and going to the wedding was super nice and fun too.

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Nothing to Say…

I’ve been a blogger for nearly three years, however, I feel like this year I’ve lost the privilege to say that. I went from daily blogger to 3-5 days a week, to no schedule which means some weeks are better than others but mostly I never see WordPress anymore.

I don’t know what it is or if anyone else feels this way. I just don’t know what to say. I sold my soul to the Odyssey so when I do have decent ideas I feel like that’s where they go. My blog has fallen to the wayside of my not busy life.

I think part of my issue is, I have nothing to say. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a lot to say. Am I self-censoring again? I don’t know. I think a huge part of the problem was that I dated someone this year and took 18.5 credits last semester and it kind of wore me down, and I forgot about blogging in my free time, especially since it was so limited. If the boy wasn’t around I wanted to be with my friends because I did feel like I was neglecting them. After I ended the relationship my weeks were filled with seemingly endless amounts of school work. Now, I’m at school for the summer spending my free time with friends, and the rest watching Netflix and doing research. I guess I’ve just lost touch with my blogger self.

I used to share my whole week with this little section of the internet. I used to write down every single thought that came through my mind. Now, I’m a senior in college and the biggest thing I have to show for my life (in my opinion) is this blog. It is my baby and I’m so proud of it, however, recently I just haven’t been doing it justice. And I don’t know how to fix it.

This year is the the year I’m supposed to really get my shit together (or at least that’s what I’m taking from it) and I always had this sliver of hope that someone would find this and it would be my salvation from the real world. I thought that it would help me become some freelance writer with oodles of free time for adventures. I now, don’t foresee that happening and freelancing is hard and I don’t know if there’s anyone I want to write for if I’m being honest. After reading about all the BuzzFeed stuff I’m very conflicted.

Anyway, I’m really hoping that I get some inspiration soon. I’m tired of not blogging. I’m jumping back into it. Maybe things will change, like my social media handles, and the content of my blog, but I’m back (hopefully).

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 26

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I’m back at school and trying to get back to blogging. I’ve just had the year of bloggers block which I think might lead to a year of daily blogging but we’ll see. However, right now I’ve just been in my head.

I don’t know if it’s my anxiety, fear of the future, or just simply how my brain works sometimes but I’m just stuck some days. Like here is the thing, I’m a senior in college now and nine out of ten days I just don’t feel prepared I suppose. Like I will be done my major in the fall, and then I have to decide whether or not I want to do the concentration (one more class). That’s it. 29 credits stand between me and the diploma I’ve been craving for the past eight years. Yet, that’s it. Like it was all this build up and anticipation to this year and I’m just very underwhelmed.

Another thing, I’m like super back into like videos. I go through phases with this stuff. Like right now I definitely want to get into artsy vlogs. Like I don’t really want to do those follow me around types, but more of a from my eye point of view type of things. I really just like editing and how you can put together this vision that you have in your head and I want to do more of that and I would like to consider that an option for my future, however, that would be very, very hard.

I’m also going to go through a major rebrand this summer. Or so I say. My whole life my internet presence since the fifth grade from Neopets to email, I’ve been mrmilligan13. However, that does make me look like Mr. Milligan. I will be running a twitter pole within the next couple of weeks, so make sure you’re following me for updates and if you would like to vote in what my rebrand should be. Also let me know if you have any ideas because I have zero. The only reason that I think I might want to keep it is because men are statistically more successful than women, do I join the bad side? No. Because women should be equal and I shouldn’t have to hide behind a “mr” in all of my usernames to be successful. So I’m rebranding.

Finally, I just think everyone should know that I watched Girl Meets World from 2-3 am before bed last(?) night (morning?) and sobbed hysterically because I have missed my opportunity for a Corey Matthews. Then for this season they recreated one of the sequences from the theme song of Boy Meets World and I just cried. I’m emotional.

Happy LNBM, I’ll  be around more hopefully!

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