Life update!? 


As the summer of things that change continues to roll on, more things are continuing to change. We are now one week away from my brother moving away to college. One. Freaking. Week. How is this possible? I’m not sure, but it’s happening. 

I had a nice three day vacation from work [well, five days if you include the weekend] that was so much needed, I can’t even begin to explain this to you. The day I went back, the phone in my classroom was immediately ringing at 8am and it was HR calling to tell me about my 6-month review [already!?] and that they wanted to offer me a promotion. I could not believe it. So another added change, I’ll have a new class with new kids after our two week break come September. 

Also happening within those seven days since my last post, my boyfriend got a new car, I dyed most of my hair blonde, I actually went out this weekend, and I saw a long lost friend back to town on her honeymoon. 

What does this prove? Honestly, a pretty big point – whether it’s the color of your hair, the make and model of your car, or a new job title, things are always changing, no matter how big or small. It’s our job to take it all in stride. xoxo. 

Life lessons: As told by The Mindy Project.

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When I signed up for Hulu, the first series I chose to watch was The Mindy Project. I heard an abundance of great things about this show, so I was extremely excited to dive-in and see what it’s all about.

After now finishing (almost) all of the series, it has definitely become clear why this show is so popular. The show is hilariously witty with a strong sense of girl-power and a hint of a romantic edge! Plus, Mindy is so relatable, so how could we not love her?

Because she is so relatable, there is so much we can learn from this show to get us through our everyday lives.

Confidence is everything

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Fast food can help you get through the hard times.  

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Weird pickup lines totally work! 

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Know your rights and stand up for what you believe in. 

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Your happiness should be priority.

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Sometimes, people change for the better. 

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The best kind of cake is gigantic. 

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Time management relies on prioritizing.

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There is a movie reference for every life situation.

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Even if you think you’ve figured everything out, you probably haven’t. 

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And most importantly, always be yourself! 

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What are some of your favorite moments from The Mindy Project?! xoxo.

Is good really great?

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This week for my one class, our major discussion had to do with why agencies or companies, or people don’t always make the transition from good to great. We had to read a book by Jim Collins ever-so-simply named Good to Great: Why Some Companies Take the Leap…and Others Don’t. 

The first few chapters of this book, I could not be any more bored than I was reading this book. It was basically written from a marketing standpoint for big business or any corporation in general, and marketing is not by background, or anything I am even really  interested in for that matter. But as I continued reading, it began to make sense as to why we had to read it for this “Community Interrelationships” course, and it really got me thinking – why don’t we always strive to be better? Why do we settle for what we have?

I mean, most obviously, it is easy. If you like your job, your relationship, your friendships, your neighborhood, etc., why would you change it? Sure it’s not a $7.2 million dollar mansion, but it’s a nice house and you get by. It only makes sense that we don’t want to change because as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But why?

I am just as guilty of this myself as the next person is. The bills are getting paid, the education is almost complete, the neighborhood is perfect, but why am I okay with all this staying the same? There are times that I think I am pushing myself for more success, but am I really? Honestly, probably not.

How much have we actually changed when we said we would?

One thing I learned from this is that you should never be satisfied. You should always be hungry for more. You should want to do more, learn more, see more, know more. And on the flip side, you should push others do want to do the same. Be your own motivator while motivating others, and everyone will win.

We only have one shot at this crazy thing called life. Because of that, we may as well be the best version of ourselves that we can be.  xoxo.

 

All you need is a little inspiration.

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So, as stated in my post Things I’m currently obsessed with, 2.0, I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey for an assignment in one of my grad school classes. As also stated, I was extremely annoyed that I had to read an entire book in 5 days and write a 10 page paper on it, because, what else would I possibly do with my life?!

However, it turns out my professor was right. This book actually was a good read and was pretty eye-opening to the fact that while I think I am a pretty good person, there is always more you can do to be the best, happiest version of yourself.

This book was broken down into seven habits to make yourself a better you. The first three habits are focused mainly on building your own independence and shifting your perspective of being a dependent person to being an independent person. The next three habits are mastered after you build this sense of independence, and focus on the interdependent side of the world. The final habit focuses on the continuous improvement that will happen over time if you are able to work to find the balance between independence and interdependence in your own personal life.

One of my favorite statements from Covey in this entire book came in chapter 1, not too far into the book at all. He stated that the most positive way you can influence any situation in your life is to firstly work on yourself, on your own being. The most proactive thing we can do is to be truly, genuinely happy and share a genuine smile with those around you. By shifting your focus from negative to positive, to shift your attitude from if only to I will, will help you remain positive and find your true sense of what makes you happy.

Our entire life provides us with so many opportunities, so many chances. It is our job to take these chances and opportunities and develop the capacities to handle all the pressures life throws our way. Everything is a learning experience. You won’t always get it right, but one thing you can always do is own up to your actions. Own up to both your successes and your failures. Assure yourself that it’s okay to “mess up” sometimes.

By taking the time to ask yourself what really matters and allowing time to do the things that mean the most to you rather than every little thing that is thrown your way, you will begin to realize how much time is wasted on things that don’t really matter in the long run.

We all have one life. We all have so many opportunities to find our happiness and share our happiness with others. It’s up to us to take this chance and run with it. We all deserve it. xoxo.

Things that college + grad school have taught me.

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I’m currently furthering my education and working toward my Master’s degree, so it’s pretty safe to say I’ve learned a lot being in enrolled in college for the last few years.

Not everyone’s experience in college will be the same, but here’s a couple thing’s I’ve learned so far:

 

  1. You need to sleep. Even if it is for 45 minutes, sleep is absolutely necessary. I am not saying that you will never pull an all-nighter, [I am guilty of that myself] – what I am saying that 2 or 3 all-nighters in a row is insane. Nobody likes a walking zombie! You do your best work when your mind has a chance to rest and recuperate and get ready for the next day. Whether it is at 3:30AM or 3:30PM, everything will get done.
  2. Everybody is perfect in their own way. Never ever compare yourself to others. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are worth it. Your degree is just as good as the next person’s. Everyone is choosing a path that they love. Don’t beat yourself down when you should be building yourself up. No two people are exactly alike, and that is what makes you special!
  3. Getting your degree is a big deal. Not everybody makes it this far, and not everybody chooses to go to college or grad school, so that in it of itself is something you should be proud of! For the endless of hours I’ve put in thus far, I’ve gotten the amazing payoffs of not-perfect-but-still-freaking-amazing GPA’s. One of the most important things is to know that you have put in your best work and maximum effort at the end of the semester. You get what you give, so give it your all!
  4. It is better to be one step ahead rather than one step behind. Professors always tell you to keep on track and to make a schedule to ensure that all of your readings, coursework, research, and internship hours get completed in a timely manner to allow some time to breathe. Being one step ahead insures all is done in case something out of the blue comes up, preventing future stress. Showing up to class early is better than showing up late. Submitting assignments early as opposed to 11:59PM on the dot will prove you didn’t rush through it. If your assignment is due on the weekend, try to get it done during the week. This will allow time to unwind.
  5. It is okay to ask questions. Especially if any of your courses or coursework is completed online. I am not shy when it comes to attending office hours or emailing millions of questions for further clarification. Plus, it helps you to stand out in a group of many other students, while also showing you care! Nothing wrong with making a name for yourself.
  6. Don’t buy your textbook from your college or university’s bookstore. This is a giant waste of money. I repeat, THIS IS A GIANT WASTE OF MONEY. Buy it used. Rent it. Don’t buy it at all. Do whatever you’ve gotta do. But if you do buy it, please, please, trust me when I say to look online. I have [more times than not] literally saved up to $100 off each book when I purchased it elsewhere. From Amazon to Chegg, there is always a cheaper option. Do it!
  7. Sometimes you will feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. Things will get overwhelming. It will seem as if nothing will get completed, that 24 hours isn’t enough time in the day, or that you are failing at everything you do. Even though you may succumb to the stress and feel as if you are at the bottom of the barrel, the good news is, that the only place to go from there is up! Assignments will get completed, you will get through the semester, and you will realize it was all worth it in the end!
  8. Don’t forget to take time to breathe. Even if there are a million things that you have to do during the semester, you can’t forget that me time is important. Whether it’s taking a walk, grabbing a coffee with a friend, or going for a run, focusing on yourself and your mental health should always come first. Even if it’s only 5 minutes stress-free, it will help you feel better at the end of the day.
  9. You will create and lose friendships during this time in your life. I went to college having a solid group of friends from high school and, to nobody’s surprise, my group of friends is no longer the same! Everyone’s priorities suddenly become different. Everyone is trying to figure out their own lives, and your texts will not always be answered in 0.6 seconds. But while it seems as if your core friendships are dwindling, you will create some pretty kickass friendships in the process. At the end of the day, you will always have a couple solid BFF’s that stick with you through it all. These solid few, you will learn, are more important than the 8,000 acquaintances.
  10. You are not alone. There are 8 million times that I can think of that I have had to remind myself that I am not the only one out there that can get overwhelmed. There are people out there that have struggles way worse than being tired from having to pull an all-nighter trying to complete your work. It is important, though, to remember to reach out for help if you need someone to talk to. Sometimes talking to your classmates or friends will help you realize that everyone is overwhelmed and that everyone is in the same boat. It helps when you build a system to support each other. You will get through it together.
  11. You can get just as much work done at home than you will in the library. Just because you don’t spend a countless number of hours in the library doesn’t mean you aren’t as serious about school as the person who does. Not everybody will find success working in the same types of environments. One of my college roommates enjoyed working at cafe’s whereas another couldn’t focus anywhere but the quiet study. Where you complete your assignments does not amount to the type of student that you are. Your best work will be done when you are in an environment that makes you comfortable.
  12. Don’t stress over the little things. The barista didn’t put enough sugar in your coffee? You have a giant pimple on your chin? You broke the tip of your pencil? So what! Focusing on things that don’t matter will only take time away from focusing on the things that do. Stressing over everything will only create one giant avalanche of stress as opposed to one little snowball.
  13. Once you get handed your diploma, you will realize everything was worth it. The feeling you get once you’ve gotten that sacred piece of paper and achieved your goal is something that cannot be put into words. Put in the time and effort. Keep on fighting, power through, and get to that light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

 

Cheers to 2017 years!

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“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same — you are grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living. You are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.” — Morgan Harper Nichols

I saw the above quote by Morgan Harper Nichols on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like it is very fitting to use to kickstart a new year.

Here’s to 365 new pages in a new chapter that is the story of your life. Cheers to 2017. Let’s do this thing. xoxo.

Target: Every girl’s best + worst nightmare.

“I only need one thing, but I’ll grab a cart just in case.” — Me

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Ladies, ladies ladies. I know I’m not alone when I say that I am unhealthily obsessed with none other than the wonderful superstore that is Target.

I would be lying to you if I said that I was not there at least twice a week. I know, I’m sick. When people tell me they prefer other stores to Target, I literally go as far as to question their mental stability. How is this possible?

Just yesterday I went to Target for one thing, a Christmas gift bag [since of course I am always 12 steps behind]. Mind you, the entire Christmas/Holiday collection at Target is 50–90% off, making this gift bag a whopping — wait for it — 90¢. I should have walked out of there spending under $1. But did I? Of course not!

I was on my merry way to the self-checkout, basket in tow, ready to scan my things and move on with my day. From the time I picked up the 90¢ gift bag to the time I got to the checkout machine, I honestly think I blacked out. Well, not think. Know. I know I did. All the sales had my adrenaline pumping to the max, and I lost all self control. $67 later, I have added a turtleneck, nail polish, hand and foot warmers, a bag of ground coffee, a set of earrings, trail mix and a plethora of other goodies to my basket. I didn’t even want this stuff, but I needed it all, and walked out 3 full bags later.

I can go into Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or even Wegmans and walk out with exactly what I need. In and out, no questions asked. But 9 times out of 10, I not only leave Target with shit I don’t need, but also forget the sole item I was looking for, only resulting in yet another Target run. It is a vicious cycle, and I love every second of it. Target is a drug and I am a full-blown addict. Is it the dollar section? The crazy sales? The Cartwheel app? The ever-so-cute home decor? How about the clothes? I don’t know what it is, but my room is too full and my pockets are too empty.

I can’t be the only one wound up in this madness. I know there are more of you out there that are addicted like me. With that being said, happy shopping to all my fellow Target lovers. I know how you feel.

And to Target, I love you. I’m sure I will see you soon.

What we can learn from George Michael.

“I’ve achieved what every artist wants, which is that some of their work will outlive them.” — George Michael

It’s been widespread breaking news since Christmas Day — George Michael passed away, much too soon, at the age of 53.

Growing up in a household where music was always a staple, this somewhat rocked my world. When I was as young as 3 or 4, I can remember being introduced to various artists, mostly artists that my mother and father grew up listening to and learned to love. The list spanned across a wide aray of genres — anything from Van Halen to Bon Jovi, from The Police to LFO, and to none other than George Michael.

George Michael was someone that was adored by both of my parents; my mother loved him for his looks and charasmatic dance moves, my dad for his unquestionable musical genius. You don’t find artists like George Michael today — ones who write, produce, and perform their own songs. He was a true talent.

He found success during both his career with Wham! and his solo career. After winning 3 Brit Awareds, 4 VMA’s, 3 AMA’s and 2 Grammy’s, having 8 number one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100, and being one of the best-selling British acts of all time, it is almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t know at least one of his songs.

For today’s celebrities, the preferred method of coming out is to be on the cover of a magazine or to formulate an intricate tweet or Facebook post, ensuring they get the proper amount of fame and are talked about on every early-morning network show. Mr. Michael was quite the opposite. He had a quiet aesthetic. He never truly had to come out, as those who knew what to look for, knew. He avoided controversy by being subdued against the provocative queer aesthric given off by many of his peers. The single earring, the tight denim, the coded messages in his songs. He let audiences decide what they had seen or heard.

He was never ashamed of any of his beliefs or actions. Even after his arrest for lewd behavior in a public restroom in Los Angeles, he addressed it with poise. It was after this event, in the infamous CNN interview in which he announced to the world that he was gay. For many years following his coming out, he was open about the thrill public sex gave him, he was open about having non monogamous relationships, he was open about his entire life. Not once did he hide who he truly was. He was an activist for HIV/AIDS before it was “cool,” he was an activist for LGBT rights, he had a positive attitude toward sexuality, and most importantly, he was a role model.

Some important things we all can take away from George Michael are

to always stay true to yourself,

“Be good to yourself ’cause nobody else has the power to make you happy.” — George Michael

to never be ashamed of who you are,

“I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. … I don’t feel any shame.” — Michael to CNN in April 1998

to work your way to success,

I watch people who are not driven by creativity any more, and I think how dull it must be to produce the same kind of thing. If you don’t feel you’re reaching something new, then don’t do it.” — George Michael

to stay humble,

I believe I have some kind of gift, but I don’t believe in myself as a star. To be happy as a star, you have to believe you’re really removed from people. I’ve never been comfortable with that. I know that deep down I’m the same as everyone else.” — Michael to USA TODAY in September 1990

and most importantly, to listen to your heart.

“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” — George Michael

Rest easy, George Michael. You will be missed.

The Power of Putting Your Happiness Above All Else

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Growing up, I have always had this aching need to make others happy. I thought that by doing everything by the book, everything expected of me, that I would find my own happiness in knowing I never did anything to let anybody down. I wanted to accomplish things so that others would be proud of. I wanted to be perfect in the eyes of everyone I knew.

I got by living this way for a solid twenty-something years. I went to Catholic school and was a “star student.” I rarely broke the rules. I graduated high school with distinction. I was in a long term relationship with a guy my family loved. Wasn’t a teen mom. Wasn’t addicted to drugs. I moved away to college and graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in 3 years. My life seemed to play out in a way in which I thought, “this is too good to be true.” I was right, but I didn’t know then what I know now.

Spring semester of my senior year of undergrad, my world slowly felt like it was crashing down. All this hard work over 21 years brought nothing but rejection after rejection to graduate programs for my chosen field. My love life was rocky. I lost connection with friends. Things were going on in my life that I never thought I’d face. I felt worthless. I felt as if I had wasted all of my time and worked hard for nothing. This didn’t seem right. It didn’t seem fair.

Instead of sitting down and putting immense thought into my future, I hastily accepted a spot into a program at a school that I did not care for. It was the first acceptance letter I had seen in months, and I jumped at the opportunity. I thought it was an easy fix. My parents wanted me to go there, my friends went there, and I wouldn’t have to endure a “gap year” — something that I didn’t think I needed until now.

I lasted an entire two years in that program — halfway through getting a Master’s degree — only for me to pass the point of no return and have a mental breakdown. From the outside, nobody would have ever known. My grades did not suffer, but my mental health did. I was faking a smile, telling people I loved my school and I loved my potential career choice. I felt as if everyday I was living a lie. I knew I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t want others to know it.

Everyday, I would wake up and go to bed anxious. I was afraid of backing out because I didn’t want others to see me as a failure. I wanted to prove that I could overcome hardship. That although my original dream did not come true, I could make it better. But instead, I was only making it worse. I lost friends. My stress put a damper on a new relationship. I went out more. I ate less. I tried so hard to find a glimmer of happiness to keep me going. I tried until the very end, until I decided to be brave and to forget what everyone else thought.

I remember leaving my now-old school after my last cumulative final. That was the day I learned I got accepted to a school I loved into a program of my dreams. I cried the entire drive home. How would I tell my parents that I decided to change my mind? How would they react to me getting accepted into a different program at a different school? This would be my third college and I only have one degree, would they be mad?

It was the overwhelming excitement and support from my boyfriend and my best friend that made me realize something — nothing else matters but my own happiness. Why wasn’t I proud of myself for getting into a program that only accepts 20 students? Why wasn’t I proud of myself for being brave enough to walk away — walk away from fear, from stress, from a life I didn’t want?

My friends and family could not believe all I have endured inside of my head. My mother was upset I didn’t share any of this with her so that she could help me get through it. The more I opened up, the more I saw that I made the right decision. I had nothing to be afraid of. I don’t regret it, but I wished I had found help long before I realized I needed it.

It took time, but I am here. I am ecstatic knowing that in one short week, I will be pursuing something that I love. Contrary to my prior beliefs, I do not see anything that I have been through as a failure. It was terrible, but I would not take any of it back. Sometimes, the road to your happiness can be rocky. Hardships are brought into your life to be a stepping stone to get you where you need to be. It won’t happen overnight, but things do get better. I am surrounded by love and support, I am excited for my future, and — most importantly — I am happy.