july.

A little over 6 weeks it’s been, and it feels as if my summer has been transformed into something…something of the likes of a Slinky Dog– strangely elongated, but regrettably compressed at any moment, simultaneously.

I had waited and wanted for so long to get to Ireland-– and to write all about it [if you’re curious, I’ve hyperlinked my adventures]–and now I’m home again and it’s crazy, it feels like it was yesterday and yet 1 year ago.

I watched an interview with Billie Eilish on some YouTube binge recently– she tells her younger self to “never put your feelings on the internet. Ever. EVER.” Of course, I saw this *after* I had temporarily taken down this site, this space, littered with a variety of crap from the ages LOL.

But I’m thankful to have taken the time away. What a lovely time to learn big lessons– observe ourselves from the inside out trough the lens of a different culture… It’s very easy to be caged in and consumed with what’s here, what’s around, what’s immediate.

It was time for a break.

And being in a different country was a *huge* help, huge change of pace, lovely opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. And what a wonderful thing it was to step back, re-evaluate, and reconcile. And even scold myself a bit for unnecessary dramatics. #y i k e s

I also got a taste of “school stress” [it wasn’t just a tourism trip, after all], but I feel like I gained back a lot of the productivity that I lost, a lot of the passion I had lost, for learning, among other things. Finishing the “semester” with good grades again in a while felt good.

read/reading // 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson.
I bought this book [along with another one I’ll start shortly] at one of the big bookstores in Galway, Ireland. This is a *delightful* mix of “abstract ethical principles, psychology, mythology, religion, and personal anecdotes”. Right up my alley, in my genre of shame [nah, my genre of UN-shame]: The Self Help Book. This guy has absolutely NO chill and straight up disses Elmo. Among other things. I find his bluntness and personal anecdote style personally hilarious. I’m trying to work through a chapter or so before bed cuz a) good habits I guess but also b) a steadfast way to get through the book. And I don’t mean “get through”– it’s a great book. A page turner not in the way a fiction read would be, but more in a sense of “oh I’m excited to see what he has to say about this next” kind of thing.

writing // here! But also a bare-bones outline of a sermon. I was asked to say words about my “mission trip” at my home church and I have all these ideas and concepts and phrases and moments swirling around my head to touch on [maybe?] but they just need to settle, and work their way into coherent, somewhat English sentences.

learning // the art of seeking positive intent, the value of listening deeper to others [and generally talking less]. Also learning to slow down, to take time, as well as learning to pay closer attention to my body and emotions/thoughts that pass their way every day through my skull.

doing / working on //

  • getting my sleep schedule back on track! I know I’m past the getting over jet lag phase but like I need to stop sleeping at 1 am and still waking up early!
  • doing design for a multitude of clients, all which are slightly different mediums, so it’s a lovely and challenging variety I’ve got to look at 😀
  • Going outside more and trying to be healthy
  • Seeing John Mayer in concert again!! What an unreal experience. No opener, just pure Mayer. Perhaps one of my favourite moments was him shredding on the guitar for “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”. He’s honestly just so stupid talented. And then I find out for his NY show he just played through the entirety of the album Continuum…just because he could. What a Mayer thing to do.
  • shaping up my portfolio
  • looking into some re-arranging/rebranding!
  • trying to finish off my travel blogging series of my last weeks in Galway. It’s funny– Henry David Thoreau writes in his culminating thoughts in Walden:
  • “It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.”

  • And I *felt that!* Well, before I left the US obviously… But even in Galway [!!! we were there for 4 weeks out of the whole 6]– I felt myself falling in, getting settled, growing used to a novelty that had previously shaken me upon arrival, and it reminded me– reminded me to keep writing, keep processing, even as I kept “adjusting” and getting “too comfortable” because it would be over soon.
  • trying to keep up with a daily gratitude Trello board as a budding mindfulness practice [because who am I kidding I suck at writing things down on paper sometimes!]

eating // yogurt! spaghetti! oatmeal! apples! and LOTS of PRINGLES LOL [so idk why, but being in Ireland, and being able to secure Pringles in Ireland just SET OFF a craving for them… the sour cream and onion ones, that is…WEIRD.]

drinking // more water. And coffee. I swear, I was dehydrated for 6 weeks, and I’m *just* now getting to correct it. Can’t mess it up now!

listening // to a whole host of things. A lot of GOOD music just dropped recently, and I think this playlist highlights at least a good chunk of it, mixed in with some of my older, guiltier pleasures that I treasured both here and abroad:

[https://youtu.be/23R7BcjWU_Y]

being inspired // by the memories I have from Ireland…now stored as photos, detailed stories, and academic work. I am also constantly inspired by the work people are doing around me–whether that’s philanthropic work, musical work, artistic work…Idk. Everyone, it seems, is falling into their creative grooves and I am HERE. FOR. IT. 😀

laughing // aloud at the newest horoscope meme instagram pages I have discovered. There are times where I’m reluctant to accept my Aries-ness but this page just seems to reinforce the nuances every. single. time I scroll through. It doesn’t help that my friends enable me too, sending stuff that’s too relatable. XD

thinking // about how some days are better than others. Some days it’s easier to just launch yourself out of bed and say “OKAY! Let’s DO THINGS! X, Y, Z, GO!”, and then some days are absolute balls of mud [whatever that means].

trying // to stick to my to – do list! Er, “accomplishments” list. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. I’ve started keeping a list of all the things that need to get done in one place, titled with the date and “accomplishments”. Somehow, “accomplishments” feels a bit lighter and more distinguished the slogging-through-the-day connotation of “to-DO list”. Ugh. Just sounds weighty. Accomplishments sounds so much more…accomplished? Idk. Just a new thing I’m trying.

hoping // to have the time and patience to catch up on all those uh…aforementioned “accomplishments”. There are a lot of puzzle pieces that need to fall into place before I can say I can start a successful fall semester… between the bills and my car being a pain in the patootie and the scheduling I am trying to make work in the next weeks– patience and discipline will be the key for these.

loving // the bursts of energy and semblance of a routine I’ve been able to utilize recently. It’s getting me pumped up and feeling ready to tackle senior year [!!!??!!howdidwegetherewowhelp]

praying // for my friends. For my family. For those who are in transition right now. For those who are going through a tough time. For those who are having trouble seeing past the darkness. For those who feel unworthy, under-appreciated, and unloved. For those who are working towards their goals. For safety as I embark on these next few weeks, for moving back to school, for patience, for those watching, for motivation and a renewed sense of purpose, for tact, and for resilience. And I pray for peace– that the peace I’ve found over the last months remains something light and easily carried.

xx

steph

may.

And just like that, I’m done.

When I say done, I mean primarily done with school. Exams have come and gone and BOY am I so thankful for that. This year kicked my ass (in a great way) and I’m ready for a new perspective, especially this summer.

I’m now toggling between life at home and packing up an apartment and it’s been pretty fun so far.

You don’t really realize how stressed you’ve been until all of it is lifted almost entirely at once. Sure, it hasn’t completely gone away, and there are a new genre of stressors to worry about (all the prep for going out of the country, etc.), but for some reason these are *insanely* preferable that those of academia.

read/reading // Finishing Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey, one of my all time faves. For a time that requires energized focus now more than ever, this book is getting me back on track.

writing // down my packing list. And trying to come up with a reasonable plan for what this space will hold in the coming months.

learning // that it isn’t going to be 100% all the time. You can’t be on all the time, you can’t be hot *all the time*, you can’t expect perfection. Sure, there are spikes of highs and lows, but what’s important is to be ever cognizant of where you are and how you’ll connect your current step to the next, and how you can do the best you can with what ya have (:

doing / working on //

  • packing! [my life up at school and bringing it back home, then from home for abroad]
  • doing design for an upcoming conference in October about teaching learning technologies!
  • PACKING for my STUDY ABROAD IN IRELAND THIS YEAR!! 😁😁😁🎉🍀
  • Going outside more and trying to be healthy
  • shaping up my portfolio
  • Recording instrumentation and vocals for the first time ever in studio for a university project [!!] I was able to work with such talented, committed people and I am so proud of the work they put forth and how it turned out!

eating // too much gelato [can’t complain!] Not enough actually healthy things. Can’t wait to get back into the flow of things before I ship out, cuz we all know that Europe may not put on the Euros but will put on the pounds *weak laughter*

drinking // yikes  Not enough water! Again! Wow! Surprise!, Peach (and lime) daiquiris, milk, and my favorite local mochas (((:

listening // to a whole host of things! Please see below: [*Disclaimer: I put the new Taylor/Brendon song on here almost ironically, let me know what y’all think, but it’s just too gosh darn catchy and I don’t know what to do now that it’s in my consciousness]

being inspired // by the weather, the art my friends are creating, and travel blogs [!!!]. Also by the athletic/fitness ventures of some of my people ^_^

laughing // at the weirdest videos I used to make as a kid.. just last night my best friend and I found some really OLD shit that I had created [for school and otherwise] and WOW what a trip down memory lane HAH.

thinking // that “life is far too simple to be complicated”. So I’m thinking that I need to simplify more. De-clutter. Drink more water. Eat less complicated things. Spend less time on social media. Not let people unworthy of your time live rent-free in one’s head. The usual. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

trying // get down to it! To re-align the goals, and focus on the positives ahead. There is so *so* much bounty right in front of me! Why let the past creep up all obnoxious-like if it’s just gonna be is detrimental to growth, to seeing the bigger and better that is the here and now [huh crazy]? And with a whole summer program and senior year ahead??

Come on Lily, get your head out of your ass.

We ain’t got time for that.

There’s a line straight out of the Compline prayer that has traversed my lips countless times:

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

It’s like John Lennon stepped into the book of common prayer y’all and slapped some sense into the evening meditation, whispering words of wisdom:

We’ve been there. We know what we know. We saw the warning signs.

We know the patterns that will likely follow (sending prayers in advance), where the line of tolerance is, where facades of character broke down, what better looks like, and the better that lies ahead, and what we need to get *done*.

Letting it be is peace.

Letting it be is freedom.

hoping // to have the time and patience to amend my taxes, finish some leftover coursework, get some more time in outside running, get back into a blogging regimen and spend more time in the sunshine (:

loving // this somewhat consistent warm weather, the absence of academic deadlines [!!!] I’ve been able to run a lot lately and it feels. So. Good!!

praying // for my friends and family, for those who are in transition right now, for those going through a tough time, for safety as I embark on these next few weeks, for patience, for those watching, for motivation and a renewed sense of purpose, for tact, and for resilience.

Here we go, May. 

Damn, I’m excited.

xx

imposter.

It feels fake.

It’s funny— I just watched the respective parts of the Tati/James Charles stuff and it left me mentally and emotionally exhausted on their behalf.

And I just got to thinking about loyalty, respect, reputations, expectations, kindness, etc.

More importantly I got to thinking about what I want for myself in all of that.

I was lucky to have left my phone at home all of yesterday while I enjoyed Mother’s Day with my favourite people. There was a lot of clarity, heightened sensation, and just an overall sense of calm I hadn’t felt in a while.

Stark contrast with this morning, which featured me basking over my feed of my personal grids, featuring highlights and moments I’ve captured since the fall and beyond.

I look at past photos centralized around scapes, food, people and animals

And compare what was, with what seems to be, and what is

And it makes me disappointed.

To know that I felt like I was compensating

For not “being enough”

For not “offering enough”

For not “having enough value to pursue”

For not being the sweet end of some transactional deal and feeling a pressure to be “okay” with transgressions towards me that I know will probably just repeat themselves down the line, toward someone else.

And so my posts, I feel, have gravitated towards myself, my appearance, etc.

Vain, self-centered, overfiltered, disgusting. You can’t win.

Part of it, I tell myself, is that I went so long neglecting myself for others, and only now am I emerging from behind the camera.

Part of it, I partially want to admit, is part of an unabashed, grand, flex-scheme, like something out of Legally Blonde.

Part of it, I inwardly fear, is that I have taken on a new obsession with a desire to “prove myself” [something I very clearly do not have to do but feel like defaulting to anyways].

But all of it—I know—is all wrapped up in a burning desire to move forward, full force, full speed ahead.

I feel it tug on my conscience every day.

Why, oh why, am I so wrapped up in a mess of square by squares that do nothing but enable FOMO, provoke comparison, and steal joy, all wrapped in hits of serotonin and a need to feel seen?

Great question.

It’s social media not antisocial media.

And yet, sometimes I feel like it’s nothing but the latter.

…But.

When I re-examine, once I’ve dropped my temporary, overt pessimism, I see a host of memories, a collage of moments so near as dear to me that having them all in one place to peruse through from time to time fills me with so much love for the things and people and memories I’ve been able to accumulate in my time here, none of which are forced into an aesthetic “theme”— rather, raging with vibrancy and color, to mirror how I perceive them.

And I want to hold on to that.

But the other thoughts loom, still.

I guess it’s just a matter of finding a balance of the two.

hello, february

It feels like forever since I’ve put something in this space.

I’ve been busy, I’ve been distracted, I’ve been feeling, I’ve been doing, I’ve been dying, I’ve been thriving. But no matter how many things I’ve been “doing”, this still remains a nice little corner of solace amidst all of it.

Just a bit ago I saw a really accurate piece of art/words by Mari Andrew that resonated with me— January has felt like it’s lingered around so long:

[From Mari Andrew’s instagram. She’s a brilliant writer and artist too, check her out!]

So shall we?

read/reading // writing // here!

Reading these gems, Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey [still!], and Deviced!, by Doreen Dodgen-Magee

learning // the value of heavy silence, of mindful ignorance. The clarity of honesty. The futility of searching for something [someone] who never existed in the first place. That love contains folds and corners that, while are absolutely worth exploring, can be difficult to understand and navigate.

doing / working on //

  • self-care. It’s a continuing process. And I feel like I’m starting to make steady progress!
  • re-aligning, reducing, ans re-designing my life through increased good habits
  • furthering the hunger initiative at my university’s campus ministry
  • doing design for an upcoming conference regarding mindfulness in education, as well as design for a program series here at our university’s library
  • raising funds for my STUDY ABROAD IN IRELAND THIS YEAR!! 😁😁😁🎉🍀
  • trying something new! I got to pose for a couple sessions for friends of mine who are trying to build up their portfolios and it’s pretty cool! I’ve never done something like that before–normally I’m the one behind the camera, normally I like to be the one crafting the scene and making the edits–so it’s SO cool to be just able to chill on the other side and see what happens and their artistic choices come to life! 😀
  • Going to the gym. Ha. Who even am I LOL

eating // a lot better. I’ve made it a priority have *some* sort of breakfast when I leave the house, and the

drinking// coffee, trying to drink more water, milk!

listening // …to a lot of lovely, new music. Have a listen ❤


https://youtu.be/V4E1AvbNPg4

being inspired // constantly by the people around me. Sometimes you just look up and everyone is just killing the game and falling into place and it’s so exciting. Also being inspired by the topics and bits and pieces I get to read in the in-between moments.

laughing // more often. I think right now about the weather outside my window– it’s really 55 degrees in January, that’s crazy. I think about how much happier I feel in this warmth, in this sunlight, in these moments of bliss that could completely be overshadowed by some polar vortex in a day or two. I wish the weather didn’t have such a big impact on my mood.. and for the most part, it doesn’t normally; I’ve definitely had moments of pure joy and euphoria amongst the greyest, the coldest of days… but this is definitely a nice little pouch of delight to have at the moment.

thinking // about my financial responsibility, about the framework I still need to set for this summer, and how everything is going to work out. I’m also spending, admittedly, way too much time thinking about people who I can probably guarantee are not doing the same. Just this morning, actually, I was reminded about this curious phenomenon. In a lesson about how Jesus returned to his hometown to preach, how he was doubted, how he was turned away in the minds of those listening…and, most notably, how he left in peace. No pushback, no beating people over the head with what he had to say. It’s true, what they say about people having to be “ready” to listen. Unless the other party is fully receiving your words, there’s not really much you can do in the way of speaking, of convincing, or otherwise. Just something to think about moving forward, I suppose.

trying // my best to push forward, not according to the words of others, but according to what I am feeling, what I am meditating on, what I am perceiving to be the best course of action.

hoping // “zat ze weathzer stays zis mild!!” But honestly. It’s gorgeous. I’m also hoping to crack down a bit more on my to-do list so I can have room for the creative outlets, some of which I hope that I can use for a purpose, for a passion.

loving // all of the beautiful opportunities I’ve been blessed with. Sometimes it takes a moment of looking up and looking around in the immediate surroundings… and that’s when it hits, cognizance of the abundant that exists right. There. In front of you.

praying // for more clarity, more peace, more focus. I’ve felt it, I know I have. I’ve had a taste of what I can do, uninhibited and my focus laser sharp on what matters. However, I know there is still work left to do. So I’m praying for strength and patience, and mindfulness, too.

Happy February!

xx

this is what it feels like.

I fly

rebellious, jubilant, unabashedly

across four lanes

downhill in an affluent ghost town

the wind races through the hair that is woven tightly, threatening to liberate it

as I throw my arms out

like I’m at the front of my ship

the captain of my destiny, with my own Celine Dion soundtrack.

there is Jack-shit behind me.

Hovering above me are dots: gleaming balls of fire unencumbered by clouds

that I stupidly take for granted every single night

as I waste away

right on schedule

in front of synthetic blue light

searching for all that can’t be found

but I shove my world in my back pocket

until further notice

I am the captain of my time

the commander of my soul

and I give it

a much needed vacation.

hunger.

When I was a kid I love love LOVED the first day of school.

Everything felt new, it was a time to start over, and, believe it or not, indulge in being able to learn after my brain felt like it had conked out over the summer. I loved learning.

The last few years of high school, however, I did not feel this excitement. Especially my senior year. I remember waking up and thinking “do I have to…?” I felt lost in the day to day grueling hours under artificially lit rooms, like I was roaming around on auto pilot sitting for this AP exam, that SAT, that quiz, etc.

I know many people look back at their last year through rosy lenses thinking about all of the fun and seemingly unbeatable memories… While I can’t deny there were some awesome highlights, the majority of that year for me was like a “okay, let’s get this done with so we can move on” kind of thing. I was fed up with the sphere I’d been stuck in for 12+ years and just wanted to break out.

Looking back on it now, I suspect a lot of these feelings were closely intertwined with some depressive symptoms, mixed with all of the stress and unnecessary (at times) pressures that existed within my school/home environment.

All that aside… I feel things changing.

I can feel excitement creeping in, leaking into my life slowly as I realize that in a little over a month I will be back, in my own space, at home, embarking on a course study I’ve been waiting ALL TWO YEARS to be able to do. A course study that keeps me up at night, that nags at me from a distant corner of my brain during the work day, constantly provoking me to push forward, to think forward, to aim higher than I know I have in the past.

And so here I am, still awake at this hella late hour, trying but failing to sleep because I’m just thinking about everything. EVARYTHING.

It feels as if I’m finally able to take the reins I’ve had my eyes on for quite some time… and it feels ah-MAZING. (:

xx

begin.

I’ve been staring at the cover of my notebook since October of 2017 but only now am I starting to realize the implications, the depth, the truth of the message emblazoned on the front of the binding.

I’ve been sitting on ideas for a post like this for about a week now, and I thought I’d take the cover’s advice, right now, while I have the time to make this post.

“The best way to get something done is to begin.

God, I wrote earlier in my relaxed stupor that was last night, has a strange way of teaching us things. And I stand by that. A few weeks ago, I was pointed to an online community full of like-minded self-starting personalities like my own. This introduction led me to take a personality test, which reinforced my knowledge that I am an ENFP-T, through and through. I don’t like mundane routines, I try too hard to please, I’m fiercely ambitious, I hate asking for help, and I’m also a bit scatterbrained. This started a chain reaction of mini-discoveries, mostly ones about myself, some about other people.

And then just this weekend, I was gifted with a conversation from a local mom, who I would not have run into otherwise had I not taken my sister to her all-star [and final] baseball game. I’m not sure how the conversation got started, but we got to talking about life and health and then it clicked– we found that we both despised small talk, we were both in the ENF[J/P] range, and she touched on her experiences living with anxiety and bipolar disorder. All of the sudden I found myself relating.

A few days earlier, I had essentially stepped outside of myself. Things were not going well, I could feel things falling apart, my monthly episode of trains running off their rails and being paralyzed by indecision had come at a really inconvenient time for me, so I had to step back from a lot of things and just take a weekend to rest and re-charge.

I have yet to get multiple opinions [and I plan on doing so] but I came to the conclusion that I’d been avoiding and ignoring something for a bit too long, and a 15 minute exchange of ideas and experiences transformed into the first step of realization. I shared with this baseball mom my concerns, I told her about my research, my screening, my findings, and the helpful and supportive information that followed was absolutely incredible. This mother has since conquered her identity, and has a website and LLC completely devoted to helping others do the same.

But it was that moment. The moment I began. The moment I reached out, the moment I started to sit down with myself internally and do that deeper inventory.

And looking at the words on this notebook today I realize I’ve had so many beginnings in the past two weeks.

I began, again here, in this space, having sorted out the old posts and the old angst and the old everything, and tried to tidy it up for more, for growth.

I began a new habit of letting go, of not obsessing or returning to things [people, rather] that would only be a form of destructive restraint going forward. 

I began investing myself in the research of my passion projects, re-designing my craft blog and doing my best to create new work every week.

I began the process [which, as it turns out, I started months ago but never finished??] of setting up an Etsy shop for said craft blog, and I put my first product into production yesterday. 

During the period of heavy doubt, peak uneasiness and discomfort, deadened optimism and flat out de-motivation… it was so hard to begin. Beginning seemed like a crazy afterthought, something so distant from the comforting idea that I was fine where I was, that I was fine shrinking back. I was confronted with these words:

“There is a saying, ‘the obstacle is the way.’ Sometimes we have to change our expectations and way of thinking to go head first towards the obstacle or difficult path instead of trying to avoid it or get rid of it.”

When I heard this I had to stop for a minute because it was so true. So often I think we find ourselves running, so much of our culture and habits are escapist, “buy this, be happier,” “go here, be happier, find yourself”, “do this instead of that”…when sometimes the best remedy is to stand your ground and fight right where we are.

And I’m trying to do just that, fight right where I am, make a “to-do” list of the problems and watch myself tackle them head on, crossing them off mentally, knowing I can win, knowing that I’ll be stronger and more fulfilled on the other side.

Some beginnings, like the ones above, are small.

Some beginnings like the ones above, were deceptively hard.

But they make room for new ones that will flourish.

xx

 

 

 

the blog purge: to delete or not to delete?

Holy guacamole.

I just wrote a post about risking it  — you know, being bold in your endeavors, jumping off the deep end when necessary, starting over, finding clarity, yada yada.

On a bit of a whim today, I sat down and realized that there’s a bit more that I’d like to do with this blog. And while I’m still floating some ideas and settling into that game-plan, I did realize that I would be faced with a decision:

to keep the old blog posts?

…or to delete them forever?

And I went a bit back and forth on this for a bit. I have seen countless blogs that I follow, and even people who don’t have traditional blogs, delete a bunch of old content because it was either too angsty [me] too cringe-worthy [also me], too personal, [HA ME hands down], or just straight up not really reflective of what they wanted/want to accomplish.

I will say this– for the most part, I was against purging all those old posts. I could look back on them, look at my angsty self and see the growth unveiled with every scroll right before my eyes. I also kind of took it to heart as a bit of a badge, a smol medal saying “look, I’m authentic!”

But now?

[SPOILER ALERT: I’ll get right to it, I deleted everything before 2014. LOL]

But. In case you’re wondering [which you very may well not be, lol, I don’t gotta justify myself and you don’t either 😛 ] here’s why I did it, along with some challenges I thought about in the process:

Your post don’t have to be gone. I made the decision to just get them off this space. For sure, they could live in some file on my computer if I wanted [though I don’t really feel like doing that.] However, if you do ever want to go strolling down memory lane, then keeping those posts in a separate place could be a nice alternative.

But what about all those likes/comments/followers etc? Meh. I dunno. Over the years I’ve come to realize that this really is my space, the content I have is reflective of myself, and if I lose a few nice words [thank you to all you beautiful blogger friends, btw ♥ ] in the process… well, I will take a moment of silence and then proceed onward. Plus, I don’t really buy into the whole “how many likes??!!???” chaos that just distorts feelings of self-worth anyways.

You’ve changed so much. Why shouldn’t your blog? I can’t tell you how many re-models this thing has had. That being said, this space, like myself, is evolving. I will get new inspiration, new ideas, new skills [that I can actually put into practice here on this blog *YAY*] that better reflect me and my goals.

…and what about authenticity? LOL. So I’m gonna let you in on a little secret here. This blog, which is now an incredible FIVE YEARS OLD [??!!???] literally used to be a virtual diary about my outings, my dying pets, and struggles with productivity. Not like that’s all non-authentic stuff [it totally is!] it was just so full of bad grammar choices, fluff-words, and irrelevancy. I’d much rather have original, raw content that’s written [at least a little bit correct]  well and not accompanied by 2.4 mega pixel photos, ya feel me? 😛 [Though FYI I did leave stuff from 3 years ago because I got tired of weeding some stuff out, I’ll save that for another day].

There is totally such a thing as blogging baggage. And seeing as I’m in a really, really recent realm of “new”, breaking out of old habits and forming new ones, forging connections and blazing paths I previously thought were out of reach… you better bet I don’t want to be reminded of some of the clutter. I’d much rather sort through the clutter, acknowledge its existence, learn from it, and then promptly send it off somewhere to get recycled and transformed into something new. [:
That being said, I’d like to take a more purposeful [albeit personal!] direction with this blog [leaning towards something more relevant to lifestyle…??], so as I’m zero-ing in on what that is, I would love it if you left some comments with ideas, pieces of your blogging journey, things that have helped you find your place as a blogger, etc.! It’s hard because recently I’ve been working on some pretty big things over at stephaniewscribbles.com and I’m just trying to figure out the role this personal blog might play. It’s five years near-and-dear to my heart so I don’t think I want to abandon it *quite* yet… 😛

Cheers to everyone who has been with me since the angsty days of 2013 [you are all God-sends and blessings through the tumult lol] cheers to those who are still going strong, cheers to those who I’ve just recently been able to connect with and explore with, and cheers to those who, like me, are walking a new path in their blogging journey–because that’s dedication, man. [:

xx

 

 

risking it.

I’m not a fan of risk.

Not the “ooh I’m gonna run across this log on our nature walk across the stream and Snapchat it all but what if I fall and drop my phone” risk.

Nah, I’m taking about the heart-stopping, heart-shattering, sometimes paralyzing risk. The kind that puts you at a crossroads, the kind that gives you that little annoying pop-up dialogue box that reads: “are you sure you want to do this?” The kind that you know, with every fiber in your being, that whatever you decide to do about it, something, *something* will be inevitably changed forever.

Yeah, I don’t like that. Nor do I like confronting those things.

This past Sunday, I took a risk [albeit tiny]. I went to church on basically no sleep the night before because I thought “why not?” The worst that could happen? I have a bunch of awkward conversations with a bunch of parishioners I don’t know [because I’ve been away for so long and one keeps right on a’moving], I fall asleep, I get frustrated by church politics, etc.

Funny thing, our priest actually ended up giving a sermon about risk. How, in some cases, something had to give and in the realm of self-growth, we should be failing at least 50% is the time. How, specifically in the readings we had that day, Jesus took a risk, to do “work” [working a miracle on a guy’s withered hand] on the sabbath in front of a bunch of supposedly respected, straight-arrow priests, which ultimately resulted in tipping these antagonistic officials off that he was the Son of God, the king of the Jews, The-One-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, etc. Basically disclosing himself as that guy whose face was essentially on a lot of people’s “wanted” signs.

[Not to get all bible-y on you here.] Point being, he found himself facing a risky situation on the Sabbath [sound familiar? LOL not like I’m trying to compare myself to Jesus.] And he took it. He took that risk. If it meant revealing himself to the law and the politicians and the skeptics and his critics in the name of an act of kindness and love, it was worth it. In the name of encouraging reflection, self growth, respect, and humility, it was worth it.

My risks didn’t stop on Sunday morning. Oh no no no. I barreled right down an avenue of risk [because why not], and decided to take some hops towards my uncertainties, my goals, and most importantly, my self growth.

I went with my best friend to see a car for myself [one that I liked and was reasonably priced…!!!] and even though it wasn’t all I’d thought it would be, I did that. I test drove it, I handled the questioning and the research and the price heckling [which turned out not necessary as I didn’t buy but whatever]. I did that.

I kickstarted my own domains for my respective blog/site, with links that so blatantly sit on my now-naked Instagram [I have to be public if I’ve any shot at becoming a Bangs ambassador, more on that later!] and have begun outlining a plan to start *hopefully* creating content on a more steady, consistent basis. I made that happen.

I took the leap and purchased all of my Adobe CC software subscriptions early [I’d need it anyway for school so it’s cool] and started playing with them, one by one to get used to how they work [it’s like learning a while different language, there’s so many tools and ways to use the tools and print/new file specifications and AHHHHHH! Hence the self-help books I mentioned in my previous post!!]

And I finally pulled my thoughts and realizations together regarding some aspects of my personal life recently— I did my best to de-clutter my living space and clean off things, clean out things, keep what I needed…

The things/influences/people I realized I didn’t need? The things/influences/people that I just had for the sake of having them, to lean on at my whim when times got less than manageable? I decided to let them go.

I won’t [and shouldn’t] be holding onto them/keeping them around, even if it’s in the background. Sometimes even when something is in the background it still has a subconscious hold on you that you can’t do anything about until you pull it forward into the light, and scrutinize it there until you know what you’re going to do about it.

And some of these things sound small, but have grown to monstrous proportions in my head, so much so that I’ve been putting them off for so long.

I’ve always loved Eleanor Roosevelt’s words:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” I mean, what better way to check up on your comfort zone than that?

Some of these items were pretty low-risk. Some, I’d put on a level medium. Others, tall [but necessary and game-changing] gambles.

I’d like to think I’m on my way towards making risk more of my friend than a mortal enemy I just hide under a table from. And I know that it also just takes time. Here’s to failing 50% of that time in the meantime, in the name of self-growth.

xx

hello, june

I completely missed May. But it’s fine. May was a mess.

But now it’s June. June is full of newness in my book. I can’t wait to get started.

read/reading // flipping through self help books on the following:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign

And to have a real book in there that I’m *trying* to make progress through:

Staying Sharp: 9 Keys for a Youthful Brain through Modern Science and Ageless Wisdom by Henry Emmons, MD, and David Alter, PhD.

Oh, and the Bible. Lol.

writing // THIS post [god bless] and also about trying to rejuvenate, productivity, and staying true to myself and my content [even amongst social media turmoil >.<

learning // Adobe Creative Cloud!! 😀 [I am SO so happy about this.], how to best combine my soft skills with my hard skills, more design related things, and how to make Instagram do my bidding.

doing / working on // 

  • all of the babysitting!
  • crafting! [insert image]
  • OBTAINING DOMAINS [whaaaa???!!! yep, you guessed it– I’m now the proud mom of not one, but TWO new domains, my beloved strictlystephanie.com and stephaniewscribbles.com!
  • cleaning out my life before I move back to school!
  • working
  • running

eating // cereal, oatmeal, pasta, doughnuts, more unhealthy things, sourpatch kids, pork

drinking // water [!] coffee/lattes, adult juice

listening // to THESE RAD TUNES for JUNE! – some new, like Panic! has new songs out! But other stuff I’m re-discovering [:

laughing // at how much coffee I’ve had today

thinking // about all of the possibilities that lie before me. I literally can’t get that one song from The Greatest Showman out of my head either, the “every night I lie in bed // the brightest colors fill my head // a million dreams are keeping me awake”…. and like, it’s super cheesy but I’m trying to think about how what I’m doing fits in with where I am right now and what I’ll be pursuing this fall and I’m so. flipping. excited. [Better than sitting around at my own pity party, eh?] [;

trying // to stay positive. I will find a car that I like that is reasonably priced. I will find a car that I like that is reasonably priced. I will. Find a car. That I like. That is also reasonably priced. This whole thing is f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g. [For those of you who do not know, I am on the quest of my life to find a new [used] car that won’t break the bank. My heart is set on a Volvo wagon, because I’m mildly in love with the aesthetic, there’s a shit ton of space in the back for ALL of my things, and they’re built like tanks. Fingers crossed and prayer hands folded.

hoping // …that I can find a car that I like that is reasonably priced  that I can plan out my goals in a more organized matter. I’m a bit of a hot mess right now.

loving // the recent weather [70 degrees and sunny?! After like, 2 weeks straight of rain?? *gasp*], my personal progress with this blog/other website. OH, and the fact that I just got FALL OUT BOY TIX FOR SEPTEMBER ♥ ♥ ♥ *joyful tear*

praying // for patience, understanding, focus, the motivation to sit my ass down and get real with myself and my summer goals. Oh, and that the Caps take home the cup. [;

My countdown informs me that there’s only 54 days until I move back to school.

xx