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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2017 Goals

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The yearly post. This is quite possibly the only yearly blog post that I have routinely written. As I wrote in a post earlier this week, I am beyond ready for the new year, and here are the many (that I will hopefully keep) goals for 2017. As I point out every year (I think), I make goals rather than resolutions because I don’t want to make myself change but rather just make goals to achieve, if that makes any sense. This year a lot revolve around my blog because other than Donald it was probably my biggest disappointment of 2016.

  1. Blog at LEAST three times a week.
  2. Go self-hosted, break out of .wordpress (eek!!)
  3. Get my first real adult job doing something I love.
  4. Move out of my parent’s house.
  5. Travel somewhere cool.
  6. Grow in my relationships with God and Jesus.
  7. Learn something new
  8. Eat better– i.e. eventually no more dairy or soy, the crux of all of my stomach issues
  9. Find a therapist wherever I end up post-graduation to continue positively growing with my mental health.
  10. Be creative all the time, in thinking, in daily life, constantly expanding my mind in creativity.

What are your goals for the new year?’

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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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I’m Back (for Real)

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It’s real. I’m going to blog again. My life has gotten crazy and my blog has definitely taken a back seat to all of my other commitments. However, this is something that I truly love doing so I’ve done my research, got Katie as my accountability buddy and from this point forward there will be a blog post every week until the end of 2016.

A lot has changed since I’ve been here last, I have a million jobs (that I love!!) I’ve been to DC (not really new, it’s too close to be new at this point), a few haircuts, and I turned 22. I am most excited about the later, it my Taylor Swift year and so far it’s been off to a good start especially since my haircut makes me feel like her.

By this point, if you are a reader, you’ve seen my anxiety post, so that’s new too. I have also gotten a new planner which I’ve created to be a blog binder as well. I cannot wait for the new year for a lot of reason, but a big one is all of the inserts that I can buy on Etsy, because IT’S A FILOFAX!! I found an affordable one at Michael’s and with the 40% off coupon, I couldn’t say no. Expect a post on that in the near future.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to be a better blogger. I think I’ve done more research on blogging this year than actual blogging. I hit a rut, acknowledged a multitude of times, and now I plan on really doing something about it. I have an accountability buddy, so really, I have no excuse from this point forward.

How do you stay motivated as a blogger? Any tips or tricks I should take into account? Let me know!!

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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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I Will Blog!

I’ve been missing from here all month. I forgot that I have a post I can do on Nashville, my overalls, and my August Birchbox. Or maybe I didn’t really forget, maybe I just didn’t do it. I mean they will get done, for some reason it’s just taking time.

My biggest mistake this year was not making myself a blogging schedule. I need to set myself a schedule at the start of the year otherwise I do nothing. I would say this year has been a failure of a year. If anyone has any suggestions for 2017 I am more than willing to take them!

I also want to a September challenge, so be on the look out for that (hopefully).

I don’t know. All of my blog posts have been whiny “I don’t know what to write” or Birchboxes. I just don’t know what to do.

I will blog. I really will. Hopefully it will be quality and it will be soon.

Please leave your blogging struggle help suggestions in the comments!

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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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