I Wrote My Way Out

I Wrote My Way Out

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing. The idea of going to college wasn’t so clear to me growing up. I knew that people did that after high school but I didn’t know what to do. So after high school I went off to college knowing I wanted to write but no idea where. I flipped flop from being an English major to a Communication major all throughout my first two years of undergrad. I just knew I had to do something. So in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “I wrote my way out.”

I Wrote My Way Out

I Wrote My Way Out

Going to grad school seemed completely out of the question. I had no idea what I would do but I was determined. I didn’t want to just be content with a bachelor’s and if I could get more, I would. It was a long process of applying and deferring. I don’t know what it was but May 2017 I decided to just start school.

I ended up loving grad school. But before my last semester I got cold feet and almost stopped. However after some good advice, I went back. Now here I am completely done and graduated.

“I wrote my way out” means a lot to me because I feel like no one thought writing would get me anywhere. I have a screenshot from someone from high school telling me this. But here I am. What I learned in grad school has helped me so much in my career and this blog. Writing has opened new avenues and adventures that I never thought would happen.

This master’s degree is just a symbol of all the things I can do. I know that there’s still more out there. Things are possible and I can make it work with the gifts I have. Here’s to one milestone!

Time to Focus

Time to Focus

I don’t get distracted too much but I can admit that I never really spend my time on one thing. I’m the kind of person that is always looking forward to the next new thing instead of looking at what’s in front of me. In a way it’s good to always find new opportunities, but I also feel like I never really enjoy one thing. So 2018 is the time to focus.

Time to Focus

A lot of things happened in 2017 and it was a lot of changes. I’m grateful for them but at the same time I wasn’t enjoying them because I was waiting for more. But I also feel like I’ve been giving too much time to things I shouldn’t have. So for 2018 I just want to focus. Focus on me, what’s in front of me, and just genuinely work towards making those things better.

I feel like sometimes having goals and words are just trying to make something happen. But I feel like I’m at a place where things are good enough for me to just focus on them and give them all my time and effort. I just want to make sure I am focusing on the right things and giving my energy to what will truly make a difference. Focus is not the most fun word for a year but it’s the one I need.

Do you have a word or goals this year?

The Story of Redemption

The Story of Redemption

I remember ending 2016 tired and hopeless. 2016 was rough. The mistakes, doubt, and confusion was crushing me. I was directionless but knew I has to push myself to something for 2017 so I chose redemption as the word to keep me focused. When I picked that word I wasn’t expecting something grand, I just thought I’d do a couple new things in my life. But I also just desperately needed God.

But as always, God has better plans than my own. I knew I wanted to make something out of my life instead of moping about what could’ve been. It was overwhelming because I didn’t know where to start so I kind of jumped. I tried to get myself plugged in somewhere and push past my comfort zone but I still didn’t feel like I was getting somewhere. At first I thought God will help open doors and guide me somewhere but He did something different.

What did redemption for me look like?

At the end of 2016 I genuinely asked God to search my heart and rid me of everything. Mistakes, shame, guilt, resentment, you name it, I just wanted to feel free and focus on my walk. And that’s what He did. The start of 2017 dealt with a lot of me coming to terms (p.s. read my testimony here because this is how I got to writing it) with my past and apologizing to people I may have hurt and forgiving those who have hurt me. I had to accept stuff that happened to me and actually overcome them instead of avoiding it.

Man, it was hard. My pride took a hit and God humbled me down. Which in all honestly, was the best thing He could have done. I don’t easily open up about the true tough issues in my life but I had to learn to face them because avoiding it was doing more harm than good.

To be honest, by summer I was feeling emotionally vulnerable and still confused on what God wanted me to do. It wasn’t until Zoe Conference when I actually felt God nudge me in a specific direction so I obeyed and life has changed a lot since then for the better.

So where does the story go now?

I’m happy. For the first time in a long time I can say that and genuinely mean it. Things are not completely figured out but there’s joy in my heart and God’s plans in my life so it’s all okay. I’m also still a mess who messes up at times, but I can actually work from it instead of hiding. I still don’t feel like I have it all together but I’m in a better place spiritually that I feel at ease.

God turned things around in my life and I’m grateful He did. I would have never pictured where and how I am ending 2017. Grateful doesn’t begin to cut it. God is good. Life is wild.

Did you have a word for 2017? How’d it go?

Why I Separated My Blog and Personal Social Media Accounts

Why I Separated My Blog and Personal Social Media Accounts

As a blogger, social media is the most powerful tool we can use. It’s how we share our posts, connect with other bloggers and most importantly, our readers. I am by no means a social media hater. I love it. Instagram gives me new places to go take pictures, Twitter directs me to the latest news, and well Facebook is there if I’m ever bored.

I was also a big supporter of only having one account that was my personal and tied into my blog. It is a million times easier to keep up on social media this way. But somewhere along the way I stopped feeling like this. I made the decision to split my blog life from my personal life online and it has given me a whole new perspective. Here is why I separated my blog and personal social media accounts.

Keep it Classy

I love Twitter. It’s often my comedic relief and a place that is quicker to connect with people. I’m an avid gif and meme user and sometimes I post things that are funny. But I also post things that are personal to me that would only make sense to the friends and family that follow me. As a blogger, I always want to be as professional as I can. Right now I complain a lot about grad school and tweeting about it just releases some stress. 

When trying to work with brands I want to make sure they are getting the best out of me. I began to feel bad when posts about them would get buried underneath minor details of my life or retweets of random things. So I got to the point where I stopped tweeting because I wanted to make sure my feed felt professional. But that also made me not want to use Twitter in general. That’s why I decided to create one just for my blog. I wanted to be professional and still be able to engage with other bloggers and readers. It also saves people all those tweets of me trying to make it through grad school.

More than Numbers

I’m sure you’ve heard it, number of followers doesn’t determine your worth. It’s 100% true. As a blogger you know that there is strategies to boost followers and get engagement. I remember having a conversation with a group of friends about the whole follow/unfollow thing on Instagram. (P.S. Please don’t do this, not a good strategy whatsoever). I kept explaining it as a blogger and saying how the changing follower numbers makes it hard to pitch to brands and such and true engagement. But they didn’t get it and honestly it made me feel so silly because why was I truly putting so much thought into my follower count and how many likes I got? I remember scrolling through pictures and even though I liked them, I wouldn’t post them because I knew it wouldn’t get that many likes.

Although separating them was a gamble on my follower counts, I knew that I would be able to have people who genuinely wants to see my content. I’m steadily growing on my blog accounts but it’s okay and I’d rather have the engagement over thousands of followers.

Here's why I separated my blog and personal social media accounts. Click To Tweet

Life How I See It

If you’re a blogger, you know how important it is to have a curated Instagram feed. Kind of like with Twitter, I began feeling pressure on what I posted on Instagram. I would like a random picture I took from a day out but I always felt like I couldn’t post it because it didn’t follow a certain theme. But that meant that a lot of great memories wouldn’t get posted because it didn’t fit. I didn’t want to create a “finsta” because I feel like those just seem like you have something to hide. It feels weird not being able to post my happiest moments just because it doesn’t have the same light or appeal as a flat lay.

Creating a separate account for my blog made it easier to post a curated feed and connect with other bloggers, while my personal is directed towards my friends and family and everyday life. It’s a good compromise.

We Don’t Owe Followers Our Lives

I watch a lot of YouTube vlogs because it’s a way to destress and it’s easy to just have them playing in the background. YouTubers share their lives on vlogs and you feel connected. But there have been times when they wouldn’t post videos and people demanded to know where they were. When the YouTuber posted an update that simply said they needed a break, speculations started and subscribers still wanted them to explain fully and would get angry. This probably happened with bloggers but I feel like I have seen it a lot more with YouTubers. A lot of them tried to argue that it made no sense for the YouTuber (I’m also generalizing because there’s been tons) to not tell them what’s going on since they put their lives online.

Here’s the thing, unless someone legit has a camera running 24/7 live streaming, you don’t know about their lives even if they post a lot of their life online. Your favorite actor, blogger, youtuber, etc. does not owe you their life just because you feel you know everything about them from what they post. As a blogger I share parts of my life with my readers but there’s a lot that I don’t mention. I may post that I went to Disneyland but you still don’t know exactly what I did there. It reminded me that privacy is so important and what we post online shapes people’s opinions of us.

As a reader, do you prefer to see a lot of your favorite blogger’s life? As a blogger, do you split your accounts? Would love to hear all your opinions!

Check out other blog related posts here.

A Lot Can Change in a Summer

A Lot Can Change in a Summer

My word for 2017 was redemption. At first I just wanted it to be a strong word. One I can look back on and be like, “yeah, what an amazing, strong year.” I thought it would be just simple things I would get redemption in. Like finally getting to prove myself at work or something. But God had other plans and this summer was wild.

Over on my YouTube channel, I wanted to create a second of everyday type video specifically for this summer. I was determined to make this the best summer ever and making sure I did cool new things. I thought it was just going to be a fun video, but it turned into something more.

Production-wise, I had no idea how much work goes into this, so props to all you guys that have done it for the whole year. I actually had to set a daily reminder so I wouldn’t forget to film something. But it also got hard on days where not much was going on and had to at least film something. It made me question if I actually wanted to do it. I’m glad I stuck it out. Let’s see if I do all year for 2018!

Let’s Get Deep

I don’t want this to be sappy or like I got some crazy epiphany of life but it did show me a lot of things. It showed me that God’s plans are better than my own. I didn’t end the summer the same way I started it. In just a few months, I discovered new passions, met new friends, got new experiences. It wasn’t a good summer because I was out partying it up, but it was good because I do a lot of growing.

Filming each day showed me that life is made up of little moments. Some seem so insignificant but they make up our life. It showed me that things change and it’s better to just go with the flow than trying to force things. I feel like one of the biggest things is that I learned to expect the unexpected. I’m a huge planner and it gave me a moment to just let go. This summer was great not because it was the funnest but I can see God redirecting my course. Nothing happened as I expected but it still made me happy in the end.

Check out my a second a day video below!