January 2017

Long time, no write. But, that’s nothing unusual for me, is it?

I’ve had so many thoughts in my head with no motivation to write them down. Until today, I suppose. The new year is always overwhelming for me. It’s a weird holiday jam packed right in between Christmas and my birthday which sends me into crisis mode with trying to formulate a “new year, new me” mentality. All in all, this year I gave up trying to create a “new me” after extreme stress started to eat away at me. Instead of re-inventing myself, I have realized it is more important to look at the key aspects of myself that make me the person I am. Instead of changing them, which never works, I can simply nurture them and make myself grow. This year I want to do things that will shape me into the best version of me possible, instead of distorting myself into someone I am not.

I want to embrace my inner “girl,” which has been an ongoing (and sometimes frustrating,) endeavor… I want to dress cuter sometimes, to learn to do my makeup better, to take better care of my appearance.

I want to nurture my inner “geek,” which I often ignore because it seems childish to me… I want to be proud of the things I love, like Lord of the Rings and Skyrim, not hide them in my own head.

I want to entice my inner “redneck,” which at some times I have been embarassed of… I want to be confident in the way I was raised and not care about the opinions of others based on my lifestyle.

All in all, I want to be a better person: a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better auntie, a better girlfriend. I want to think less selfishly, less irrationally, be less worrisome, less lazy, and be more patient & courteous. I want to be more gracious and more compassionate. I want to live healthier and self-aware. I want to rekindle my faith, and rejuvenate my passions.

For a long time I have been stuck in my own head, but now it’s time to breathe the fresh air and take a few steps back.

Here’s to 2017 being the best year possible.

x
stephanie

To those obsessed with Social Media.

Most of us would like to think that social media is unimportant and a waste of time. In some ways, it really is. That doesn’t change the fact that it has become one aspect of our daily lives that can strongly impact us in ways we never expected. However, it can also open many doors, as well. Social media can bring out the best in people, but also the worst. It can uproot friendships and relationships, unleashing jealousy and lack of trust. But, it can also be an opportunity to share precious moments with the people in your life.

In my opinion, I think the most important idea behind social media is much too overlooked. We are not supposed to let it engulf our lives, nor let it define who we are as people. We don’t need to share every moment of our lives. People take numerous selfies (I am guilty, everyone already knows this,) just hoping to capture the attention of the people on our “friends” list or even people we might assume might stalk around on our profiles. People obsessively keep track of who is “liking” or “friending” who, when in reality it doesn’t mean anything but the 3 seconds it took to scroll past a post.

At it’s core, social media is meant to network and to keep in touch with people you might not see often. I’ve noticed that more often than not, it’s simply an engine for drama and low self esteem.  You don’t need the approval of others to validate your life. You don’t need 50+ likes on your photos to know you’re beautiful. You don’t need to obsessively stalk your significant other to know you can trust them.

It might be hard for my generation to understand this, but a life outside of social media is much brighter than one spent scrolling on Facebook, editing your Instagram selfies, or cultivating your newest Tweet. If you spend all your time on your phone or computer, you might be missing out on some of the most important memories you are supposed to make.

Get out and enjoy real life, know you’re beautiful, trust the ones you love.

Don’t let what’s on your screen tear you apart.

x

Thoughts of a Scatter-Brained Creative Writing Major:

WRITE, they say, JUST WRITE.

But suddenly, you’re drowning in a sea of empty thoughts. There is an anchor attached to you, that anchor is called writer’s block.

That’s my life right now, anyway. I have a hundred ideas, until I sit at my computer, tablet, pen & paper, primitive cave drawing, ect. and realize the words are trapped in the deep crevasses (or crevices, I’m not really sure what’s actually up there,) of my brain.

I become overwhelmed by the abyss of nothingness in my thought-processes, and sit there with a blank face, staring at the blank page until finally I open up an internet tab to distract myself with baby animals, DIY pallet projects, or miscellaneous quizzes with no relevance to anything of substance. It’s time to wake up and smell the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s of the cramped and crowded coffee shop I sit in on campus!

GRADUATION is t-minus one semester and two additional courses away. GRAD SCHOOL isn’t far behind that.

Grad school?! Shit. What were my top choices? Am I actually going to get accepted? WHO WILL WRITE ME A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION?

By now, my head is spinning like a load of heavy towels in the dryer on the highest speed. I laugh nervously and pretend that my Midterm for Advanced Fiction is going well, but in reality I’m scribbling doodles of bats and spiderwebs for Halloween in my planner instead of progress notes.

It’s October. I NEED to pass my classes. That’s all I need right now. But, a Chick-fil-A just opened and that sounds more enticing than staring at a blank page.

FOCUS.

You can do this, you can write the shit out of that midterm. You can analyze the shit out of that 17th century American Lit. assignment as though you actually read the weeks readings. You can do anything, but first, you better go grab another overpriced-venti-double-something-mocha that you probably can’t afford anyway. But tea is better for you, and it’s cheaper. Better do that. OH DEAR GOD… I’m becoming my mother…

Or, I mean, I could just write my Midterm.

 

Fall 2016 Bucket List

Because my Summer bucket list was an epic failure, let’s try this again. Who’s willing to cross some of these off with me?

+ Visit a winery
+ Spend a weekend on the Northshore
+ Watch the stars by a campfire
+ Go to an orchard/pumpkin patch
+ Carve pumpkins
+ Go for a drive to see the changing leaves
+ Hike around some state parks
+ Renaissance Festival
+ Visit the zoo
+ Watch scary movies while drinking apple cider
+ Zombie Pub Crawl
+ Haunted House
+ Valley Scare

What I’m striving for…

I’ve always been the kind of person to plan. I shoot for my goals and don’t give up easily… But, with that in mind, I’ve also always been the person to come up with back up plans too.
Here are some goals I have put in place for myself in the next year in no particular order (and a half? I mean… wiggle room is great.)

  • continue to achieve my fitness goals (I’m proud to say I’ve been consistent so far, so lets keep that up!)
  • get some of my work published (short stories, poetry, and non-fiction.)
  • graduate (this one is a given, and on track.)
  • get  an internship in editing/publishing (or a full-time job preferably.)
  • buy a Jeep Wrangler (and hopefully start customizing it.)
  • surround myself with positivity (no more insecurity, no more toxic people.)
  • be confident in myself and my abilities without second thoughts (getting better already!)
  • travel (anywhere, anytime. I crave adventure.)

I try to set goals that aren’t outlandish or unrealistic. I try to live within my means and do all I can to be a better person. For most of my life, I have not focused on myself very well. So, why not start being better about that now?

I hope this has maybe inspired some of you to also make a list of personal goals that you’d like to achieve in the next year or two. Good luck to you all!

x

As a writer, I wonder…

I write about people, whether it’s blatantly in a journal, or just stolen details about them to write into my stories. I’ve written about both strangers and people I care about. I’ve written things from memories and things from imagination. I’ve seen a glimpse of a person, and written an entire character around them. I’ve lived a memory and taken inspiration from the people involved. I’ve imagined the lives of others around me, and challenged myself to think as they might. But then I wonder, has anyone done this for me?

I wonder if anyone has written something because I’ve inspired them.
I wonder if anyone has written about me, or made a character that resembles me in someway.
I wonder if anyone has written memories of me, or made some up instead.
I wonder if anyone has written about how I’ve made them feel, or how they’ve made me feel

I just can’t help but wonder.

Respect in America

Firstly, let me state a disclaimer. I am not here to offend, I am not here to start a debate, I am only here to state my own personal opinion through my 1st amendment right of freedom of speech. Let’s look at the official definition…

free·dom of speech

noun
 1. the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.

 Recently, I have been extremely disappointed in society.
Everyone is pointing the finger at someone else in recent events. Race, guns,corruption, etc. But, in all honestly, I think the blame lies on a lack of respect and a lack of morality.
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The United States of America is a country meant to be UNITED, as our name suggests, but instead we are being torn apart by fear and hate. Why is it so hard for our society to act like decent human beings?
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We need to respect each other.
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 We all want the same things, deep down. We all want freedom, we all want to feel safe, and we all want to be respected. So why are those things being  contested? Because, society cannot find middle ground.
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Remember the phrase, “start no shit, there will be none”?
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Respect your boundaries and the boundaries of others. If you have no boundaries, make them. We don’t have to turn to violence to solve our problems, that’s what civility and diplomacy are for. We’ve all been taught to fight for what we believe in, but fighting each other is not the answer. Violence is not the action to be taken in social issues.
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This country needs it’s people to stand together, not threatening each other.
What ever happened to the Preamble of the Constitution?   (Psst, here it is…)
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“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
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I still have faith in this great country, but I’m losing faith in our people. So let’s stand together and work together for our common goal. Freedom.
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“We are all Americans, we share a common land and a common life.”