blogging

Bravery in the Blog

I may not know much, or hell, even that much at all, but at least I know I’m brave.

I’m brave enough to speak my opinions, whether my readers will agree or not.

I’m brave enough to show my humanity through happiness, anger, sadness, bitching, etc. because I won’t pretend to feel a way others deem “acceptable” just to make said folks comfortable.

I’m brave enough to keep going, despite so many people telling me to stop because “nothing will ever come of this space.”

I’m brave enough to disconnect from people, no matter who they are, who don’t get why I would choose a blog over a career that doesn’t accept what the blog has to say.

I’m brave enough to say e.x.a.c.t.l.y. what I’m thinking.

I’m brave enough to come here and write anything–even the uncomfortable stuff–and sign my name to it.

So why, why, why, is one of you hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, trying to infiltrate my life? Why are you wasting your time? I will always be here whether you want me to be or not. I may change the blog’s interface or subject matter or header 89 times, but I, the author, will still stand behind it, no matter those changes. I will be here, tall and unwavering, no matter what warfare you’re inexplicably trying to start. In fact, many of the things you’ve tried to accomplish over TWO ENTIRE YEARS have never, ever worked. Let it go or stop reading, plain and simple.

I’m brave enough to say without hesitation that you are a coward. You are someone who has some great void in life, and you fill it with hate instead of newfound interests or love. You are someone who has nothing better to do with your time than to type comments or send emails from behind a veil.

I get it. I certainly would be bored if I couldn’t say precisely what I desired to or confront someone face-to-face. But maybe, just maybe, you could try to be brave. Whatever your problem is, you will never solve it behind that curtain of hate, that security blanket of secrecy, that misdirected keyboard thrashing.

I’m even brave enough to forgive you if you ever want to join us in the Land of the Free Thinkers. If not, just stay in your lane, and let the rest of us write and live our lives to the fullest.

Advertisements

2014: In Review (for Reyonce, the blog!)

You may not be all that into this entry if you’re not a blogger and/or Internet junkie like most of us who hang around the water cooler at the ‘Press, but I love the gorgeous way the stats were presented to me, so I wanted to share them. OH, and a HUGE thank you to those of you who commented like crazy, shared my blog all the time, and overall helped to create these pretty neat numbers. I had over 100,000 views at my last blog-hosting site, and I’m truly not disappointed with these additional 6,000 since I switched this year! My readers, you are the magnificents!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy (and safe) New Year’s Eve to all of you… see you in 2015!

A Change’ll Do Ya Good

Hey-o! Look around! Things look different, eh? A little bit spruced up (no Christmassy pun intended)? I hope you like the changes because they’re for you. Okay, and me. I change my blog like I change my outfits. And why shouldn’t I? Change is good, especially in a crazy competitive blog category like lifestyle… especially when you don’t fit in. I’m kind of that wonky, warped-by-water puzzle piece that completes the picture, but doesn’t quite fit the way it should.

The thing about being a lifestyle blogger is you’re supposed to fit in to the popular lifestyle of the time in order to get views. Though I truly adore my predecessors, most of them my inspiration and role models, I just don’t live the same life. Some of it is because I don’t have the means to, but a lot of it is that I’m just a different kind of gal. Yeah, I love clean eating and cutesy-DIY’ing, but I also dig my own boho kinda fashion, geek culture, and crude language/humor. The two don’t always mix, but that’s my niche. That’s my truth, my actual lifestyle (which is why it’s not always picture perfect).

Though I have dreams of evolving my life and the blog that captures it, it’s gonna take time. It’s going to involve trial and error, especially on the health/nutrition section of my blog as I try to figure out what mystery illness is plaguing my body, and what will work best for that illness once I find answers.

Things may look a little different over time as I try to hone my craft and my blog, but Reyonce will always be Reyonce. I learned to live with that a long time ago, and now it’s something I kind of love not being able to change. I can’t wait until I find the people who’ve been looking for me. I’ve been looking for you, too!

While I’ve Been Away…

* I have speed-read through Gone Girl in an attempt to ruin spoilers.
* I have found a place where the coworkers are family, and the students truly need me.
* I have been traveling every weekend for over a month–not far–but enough to exhaust me as if I have been hiking the Appalachian Trail for two solid weeks.
* I have been making my house a home, but it looks mostly like a tornado devastation site.
* I have cried many times, trying to figure out why there are so many insensitive people in my career path, then have wanted to lash out at myself as many times because they are such a small group and shouldn’t be on my mind at all.
* I have drank approximately 60 Red Bulls.
* I have made new friends.
* I have been missing the ones back home, as well as my family, but have been enjoying living somewhere totally new… even if that place houses barracks of mosquitoes.
* I have tried to find time between the piles of ungraded papers to pay attention to Stylistic Theorem, dismayed when I find both undone when I wake up after passing out on them both the night before.
* I have been targeted (again, ughhhhhh) because of my age and gender. With all due respect and professionalism:

* I have camped with the first frost.
* I have laughed with my love a million times because, sometimes, that’s all we can do to keep it together with two high-stress jobs.
* I have watched my sick pup bounce back with some extra pounds, and I’m loving every new inch of him I have to snuggle.
* I have fallen DREADFULLY behind on all my favorite fall shows even though they’ve JUST returned.
* I have realized, for the 10,000th time, what works for me and what doesn’t in all the ways I possibly can mean that, and I have been actively working on discarding the no-go’s within the year.
* I have missed the hell out of writing. I have missed this blog. I have missed you.

Perfect Alignment

Not too long ago, I wrote about my struggle with success in my passions, pinpointing this blog as a major piece in Strugglecity, USA. I’m not suddenly signed to an agency or unexpectedly inundated with advertising deals, but things lately seem to be simply falling in the holes that once riddled my career plans. Though there are many still to fill in, the change has been healing, noticeable.

First, there was the job search gone bad. As Maria said, when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. I took the rejections as a chance to jump through that newly opened window to focus on the job I’m trying to cultivate.

During a trip to the beach for a cleansing mini-vacay, I read six variations of my horoscope*, all of them telling me that my chance at career happiness was near. Like within the next month near. *(Whether or not astrology is actually a thing is yet to be determined.)

Though plenty has gone wrong – losing Robin, phone loss, housing ups and downs, one very sick pup, and all the minutiae in between – there has always been someone or something around the corner to pick me up.

An “it’ll come through, babe.”

A beautiful day filled with sunshine and creativity.

A “you’re going to find what you want, I know it!”

An article that says no plan B means no failure.

A sign.

So many signs.

As I walked into my Saka class last night, I was feeling the strain of the little shit, the things that shouldn’t get me down but do. Patrice looked around and lingered on me for a moment before speaking.

“I just want to… I just want to say something tonight. If you’re like me, if you’ve got a passion for something and it’s just not working out, whether that be a business, a friendship, or a marriage, I’d like you to put all your faith in that. I’d like you to put your whole heart into what you’re passionate about. I’m doing the same thing with this, and I want you to do it with me and see what putting your whole faith in gets out for you, for all of us.”

I held back the tears while smiling. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

When I got home, I caught up on my usual blogs, and found this quote on TSC:

4

The Skinny Confidential

Fate.

For once, things seem to be perfectly aligning on their own. And for once, I’m just going to follow the alignment instead of trying to take control. For once, I’m going to put my full faith in.

Get ready, readers.

I know I am.

Why It’s Okay to Invest In Yourself

I recently have made purchases or general actions that have left some folks guessing.

“Can you afford that?”
“Is that smart?”
“Why couldn’t you move to B instead of A?”

Well, I could just say eff those people, but I don’t think they mean me ill will; I simply think they just don’t understand the concept and benefits behind investing in yourself.

Now, I’m not talking about making random, small purchases of shit you don’t need or impulse buys you’ll only end up regretting. I’m talking about staple pieces of any category that will serve one purpose only: bettering yourself and your brand.

Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference, so here are some questions you should use to approach each of these investment pieces:

1.) Will I make my money back?
No matter the item, there are ways to get the money back you spent. New dress gets you that job you wanted? Paid for. Those pillowcases show up on a blog entry that gets you tons o’ traffic? Paid for again. You see the pattern — use it!

2.) Will this item improve at least two areas of my life?
It’s simple: investment pieces need to multitask. Your new birthday outfit needs to be able to turn into a work outfit with a cardi or leggings, etc. Any new furniture needs to double as storage space (or have the ability to do so). Two areas of your life or MORE need to see some return from your purchase.

3.) Will this last for more than a season?
Is the item quality? Simply put, better materials, no matter the item, last longer. Your wallet might hurt for a moment, but it will ultimately cost you the same, if not more, to keep buying that same item made of cheaper materials.

4.) Will this further my personal brand positively?
Sometimes an item will only meet one of the above criteria, but you still feel compelled to buy that new tablet or pair of shoes. If you can assure yourself that your purchase will increase the brand you’ve made for yourself, whether you’re a blogger or a fitness instructor or a lawyer, than the purchase is a credible one. After all, the more valuable your personal brand, the more likely questions 1-3 will be applicable to the purchase later down the road!

5.) Will this benefit my self-worth and overall growth?
Most importantly, can you grow using this investment? That’s what putting money in now is all about: return with interest. Will you be able to find more financial freedom with this item? Will you be able to set up your dream job? Will you be able to come out at the end with more than you put in? Should the answer be yes, you’ve got yourself a piece worthy of purchase!

Make sure at least three of these questions apply to any investment in yourself to ensure you feel no regret and find true worth in your purchases.

And if anyone doubts you? Hand ’em your card so they can call you when you’ve finished building your empire. It’s up to you whether you answer or not 😉

20140603-230744-83264612.jpg
Here are some of my recent investment pieces. What are yours?

Style: Spring Stripes

I promised fashion entries back when I first set up this new phase of my blog, but so far, I’ve been hiding out in layers of clothes that resemble the trash lady in The Labyrinth. If you’re not well-versed in David Bowie’s film canon, she looks a li’l something like this:

Sorry for any proceeding nightmares.

Goblin weather be gone; now that things are green and the weather is finally brushing against that PERFECT NUMBER (70), I am capable of dressing myself in human garments once again. (For the record, what I’m wearing and where I got it from are listed, now and forever, at the bottom of each fashion post!)

DSC_0321

I felt like mixing my favorite (thrifted) striped shirt with GREEN shorties (cropped pants to the rest of the world), then throw in my new bag. Don’t worry… a what’s in Reyonce’s bag post is ever-so-imminent.

DSC_0322

The pup had to join because we’re joined at the hip. We promise to drag some poor, unsuspecting soul into our next post to take QUAL-I-TEE fashion photos.

top {thrifted} // cropped pant {target} // satchel {target} // *new* camera strap {Etsy — iMoShop}

Organizing

I thought a little break down of what you can expect from some of the newer categories (or new to you… if you’re new 😉 ) would be helpful. Obviously, you can visit the corresponding pages for them thanks to the handy navigation menu at the top of this blog, but if you want a guide first, you’ve come to the right place.

Beauty – Obviously there will be some beauty topics tackled in this section: how my face responds to the newest try-it-at-home method or horrible attempts at some sort of illustrious eye makeup. But first and foremost, I will have subsections for health and nutrition. I am concerned about the former because I am always grappling with odd health issues. I am obsessed about the latter after working the most amazing job for a nutrition program. I learned so much there and want to share all of the crazy unknowns about what you’re actually putting into your body.

Create – Here you’ll find anything I create: photographs, DIYs galore, and probably some massive fuck ups.

Fangirl – EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! (If you don’t speak fangirl, that translates to: I will be talking about gushing over all of the people, pop culture, and inanimate objects I am genuinely crazy in love with.)

Fashion – Is my passion. (Ha!) This is where I’ll try to wrangle some poor stranger or friend into taking a picture of my outfit while I pose awkwardly in front of the camera AND tell them what to do. I hope for this to evolve in a huge way over time, but it is an aspect of this blog that will take a little patience as I try to find someone who is game to partner with me enough to really make this section of my blog thrive in the way it deserves.

Gonnas – If you’ve been a follower of mine from the beginning, you know this is where my humble beginnings of a REAL blog began. The gonnas are all about saying what you do and doing what you say. For instance, if I say “I’m GONNA go to the UK in 2015,” I go to the UK in 2015. It’s about evolving from the person who says they’re going to do things into a person who just does them without proclaim.

Travel – I am a traveler at heart, but sadly, not in wallet. However, I have a big trip planned in the somewhat-near future, and lots of little ones in between. This is another aspect of my blog I’m hoping to grow slowly over time as my wallet becomes more endowed.

Write+Read – I’m a writer. I’m a reader. I like to write about reading, and read about writing. You’ll find everything literary under this section like book reviews and tributes to authors, just to name a few.

Anything else you wanna see? Comment below to let me know!

Your Turn!

Enough about me and my nothing-out-of-the-ordinary depression. I’ll deal with that privately from now on. (Well, unless I really need you guys, or something about the journey is incredibly helpful or funny. God, I really hope there’s some funny.)

ENOUGH ABOUT ME! What about you?

I recently joined a group of other bloggers on a social media site, and their advice as been inspiring and indespensible. One of the particular bloggers really inspires me with all his posts and speaks great wisdom about blogging/life in general. He reminded me that blogs are a community, and as much as I HAVE to be myself in order to find my niche, I also need to know what my current readers really want. I also got a signal boost for this idea from one of my favorite Aussie blogger’s recent entries!

So, what do you want? What would you like to see?

happy blog audience

Look at you! Look how happy you can be! (Sidenote: thanks to my friends for letting me take stock photos of them like this for my blog.)

I plan to add a lot of nerdom, creativity, fashion, reviews, and life happenings over the next few months as this blog grows into its own. But is that what you’re into?

Let me know! It would make me most happy to make you happy.

You’re important to me, you know? You’re important in general. In fact, you’re pretty damn awesome.

Boston

As a blogger, I feel like I’m required to write about Boston. However, I didn’t want to write about it at all really, at least not until all the facts were fleshed out.

I was in class when one of my classmates announced the news. She said she wanted to prepare us and let us know in case anyone had family in Boston. It was scary to hear, but heartwarming that a classmate wanted to give us time to build a levy for the incoming onslaught of anxiety, fear, and media coverage.

As soon as I got home, I surfed the Internet in friendly places for answers. I didn’t go to CNN or Fox News; I went to Tumblr, a place I know is safe for people of all walks of life and an overall supportive community. I knew there I would only find helpful information and a distinct lack of racial profiling regarding who had actually done the bombings. It was sad to see such gruesome images on the site, but it was heartwarming to find messages of hope, links to help, and stories of heroic acts rather than finger pointing.

I stayed away from the media coverage after that. It didn’t matter to me the religion, or race, or whatever unimportant details people would focus on about the person or people who bombed those runners; what mattered was healing, lending a helping hand, leading a fair investigation, and recognition of those who were heroes in a true moment of horror.

Since then, all I know is the ethnicity of the suspects at hand has been discussed far too much than is appropriate. I have heard both that one and/or both of the suspects were killed during a city-wide shutdown and manhunt. I have heard there were robberies, more murders, more suspicious packages, more paranoia, more fear. I don’t know what to believe because everything is contradictory and fueled with emotion.

To be honest, that’s why I don’t care what the present facts are. That’s why I’m still not really talking about it. I’m more interested in waiting for information fueled solely on facts. Until everyone can take a step back and objectively look at what happened, the information we get will be tainted, biased. It will be injected with our hurt, our anger, our fear, our sadness, our political opinions. That’s not healthy or helpful for media messengers or receivers.

And even as a blogger, one I hope you all view as somewhat informed, I feel it’s my duty to remain quiet about the whole thing until some clarity can come. It won’t arrive for a while, and that’s okay. We need time to be angry and grieve. We need time to investigate. But first and foremost, we need to take this time to take care of each other instead of blaming one another.

My thoughts and heart have been with Boston since this happened, but my words? My words have been locked safely inside, waiting for the day when writing about the events of April 15, 2013 will be objective and fact-based. Until then, I hope everyone finds their peace and helps if they can.