Christmas Adventure

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Hello again. I know it is a little late, but I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas! I spent my week visiting with family almost twelve hours from home, so it was really special because we don’t get to see them very often. I am also thankful that I was able to be there to celebrate three big birthdays this year! This was actually the first winter that we have ever traveled to that part of the country, and the weather couldn’t have been any better. Though it was much colder than it was back home, it didn’t approach the sub-zero temperatures that we were expecting. Everyone kept telling us that it was unseasonably mild, so we were lucky that we could actually enjoy ourselves at this time of the year.

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I also ate one of the biggest sandwiches that I have ever had at Primanti Bros. It was delicious, but it was ginormous; I have no idea how I was able to fit it into my mouth. I think my favorite part of the trip has to be snow-tubing with my cousins because I loved the adrenaline rush of racing down those tall, icy slopes. From snowman building to ordering a table-for-twenty dinner, we all had a really great time, and we certainly filled this Christmas with many memories.

Have you traveled anywhere recently? How was your holiday? I am super behind on the Reader, but I will try to catch up to some of your posts within the next few days. Thanks for reading!

Fall Semester 2019

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This semester was harder than I ever expected, but I learned more life-lessons within the past sixteen weeks than any of the other semesters combined. Looking back, I am not really sure how I made it through everything, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences that helped me become who I am today despite the challenges.

I always use to tell myself that nothing is impossible and that I could do anything I set my mind to if I was determined enough. This helped me achieve great things in the past, but this semester humbled me to realize that some things truly aren’t possible. I was pushing myself harder than I ever had before, and I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. This year, I took a full semester at the college through dual-enrollment while dancing full time as a professional trainee ballet dancer. Though I had done this before, my academic courses were more difficult this time, and the demands were a lot higher. I was only getting about five hours of sleep every single night just to keep my feet on the ground, and the exhaustion/stress really started to take a toll on my health.

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I learned that “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”

The problem was, I was trying to give 100% effort at both school and dance because I didn’t know where I would end up or what I even wanted anymore. A professional career in ballet is extremely competitive, and universities are also highly selective; I needed to be perfect at both. It was about mid-October when I realized that something had to change because I physically couldn’t do everything anymore, and I was wearing myself out… I had some big decisions to make. After thinking everything through, I decided to no longer pursue a professional career in ballet after Nutcracker which was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make. Even though it is a huge change in my life, I know that I made the right decision, and I did what it best for me. Since then, I am so much happier, and I passed all of my classes!

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Through it all, it truly was bittersweet to walk off campus for the last time knowing that some of my friends wont return in January… From the coffee shop shows, Friday morning laughs, “flying squirrel” (inside joke), study groups, and hot chocolate chats, I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to hang with. I made some great friendships, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories! It certainly wasn’t an easy semester, but we got through it together. The Fall semester is officially complete. I can’t believe it, but we did it!!

in the end…

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“in the end, she became

more than what she expected.

she became the journey,

and like all journeys,

she did not end, she just

simply changed directions

and kept going.”


*quote: r.m. drake

*photo: richard jean-louis

Nutty Weekend

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Just like that, Nutcracker 2019 has officially come to a close, but I would do anything to go back and relive my moment as the sugar plum fairy…

I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to dance such an iconic role, and it was truly an honor to perform. My second show on Saturday night was better than I had ever expected, and I can’t recall time where I was that happy onstage before. I was overcome with joy, and I truly danced my heart out which doesn’t happen everyday. I am not sure how my dancing was physically, but I think that last show was one of the best ones I have ever done. If anything, it is definitely something that I will remember for a very long time.

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However, I am going to be honest and admit that it was not an easy weekend for me, and this Nutcracker certainly had its hiccups. I was in a lot of pain as my muscles kept seizing up in the middle of my dances, my Achilles was hurting, and I had a really bad cough that was a constant struggle. Also, slipping onstage during the pas de deux of my first show was far from the debut that I had envisioned.

Despite the circumstances, it truly was an incredible experience, and I am already missing that theater. It has been an amazing journey to get here, and I have made so many memories that will last an entire lifetime. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me and also everyone who encouraged me backstage. The entire cast danced beautifully, and I am so lucky to have shared that stage with such a talented group of artists. This was truly a dream, and I will always remember Nutcracker 2019…

It’s been awhile

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Hello.

It’s been awhile.

How have you guys been? I know this isn’t the first (unintended) hiatus that I have taken this semester, and it probably wont be the last if I’m honest. However, I really hope that you guys stick around because I am not abandoning the blog! Life has just been quite crazy lately…

I have spent more hours in the school library than I can even count, and chemistry is definitely proving to be an “adventure.” I like all of my classes and professors a lot, but the work load/studying is much more intense and time consuming than previous semesters. I also took my SAT this morning, and I am beginning to narrow down universities that I want to apply/transfer into. I am really anticipating the score because it was my first time, and I really wonder where I will end up… On the other hand, I forgot to tell you guys that the college, where I am currently dual-enrolled, has selected me into The National Society of Leadership and Success!! I am incredibly honored to be a member of this reputable program, and I am so humbled for the opportunity.

Lastly, The Nutcracker will be brought to the theater in one month, so that is quite nerve-wracking. Rehearsals are well underway, but there is still a lot of work that has to be done! I will be sure to keep you all posted, and I hope that you are doing well. Also, an October playlist will be released very soon, so keep an eye out for that…

What have you been up to? How are your classes going so far? Are you a member of the NSLS? Are you planning on watching or dancing in The Nutcracker this season? Thank you for reading this super long post if you are still there!

*Photo: Flashback to last year’s family trip up to the apple orchard.

Breathe Easy…

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Small problems have a tendency to invade our minds as we obsess, overthink, stress, and worry about them… Over time, it becomes hard to stop these negative thoughts, and the small problems ultimately end up feeling much bigger than they actually are. However, I have realized that most of the things that are stressful right now wont even matter in a few months, and our brain often over-analyzes situations that are actually quite simple. Everything will be sorted out the way it is suppose to with time, so don’t allow these thoughts and situations to create unnecessary chaos in your daily life. Instead, remind yourself that most of the stress that you are feeling right now is simply a cluster of small problems that the brain has manipulated to feel much bigger than they actually are.

“90% of what you are

stressing over today won’t

even be relevant in a year.

Breathe easy.”

~Wesley Snipes

What are your thoughts on this? Was this post helpful to ease some of the tension in your life? How do you deal with stressful situations? Happy Friday!

Exploring Cherokee, NC

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I spent my long weekend in the mountains of North Carolina where I embraced the peaceful solitude and experienced the traditional artwork and culture of the great Cherokee Indians. It was nice to leave all the stress behind so that I could recharge to tackle another crazy month. I will admit that the lack of phone service during the trip was a struggle for me, but the beautiful weather, scenery, and memories definitely made the trip worthwhile. I especially loved exploring the cultural district of Cherokee where I watched some of the native dances and admired all of the amazing artwork. Hand painted bear statues decorated the town, and the detailing of this one in particular caught my eye. It was also fun to peek inside the small shops and see all of the beautifully handcrafted jewelry, baskets, and pottery.

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Hiking up Mingo Falls was another highlight of the trip. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the waterfall to be as big as it was, so I was really surprised when I saw the view. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I am so glad that I was able to see it.


I hope that you all had a Happy Labor Day! I have lots of exciting content that will be released very soon, so I hope that you stick around. Also, Nutcracker casting came out last week, so I will reveal that very shortly as well. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!

How did you spend your holiday weekend? Have you ever visited Cherokee, NC? Do you enjoy the mountains? Are there any special post requests?

Starting a Blog?

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Within the past few months, several people have come to me with questions about blogging, so I thought it might be beneficial to share my insight for all new/existing bloggers out there. I have been blogging for several years now, so I am very happy to share my personal tips and advice… Whether you are considering your own site, just starting off, or have had lots of experience, I hope this post is helpful!

1: It’s what you want it to be.

Embrace your unique style of writing because your blog is whatever you want it to be. Don’t feel like you have to follow strict guidelines because there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your blog is very personal, so be creative, have fun, and enjoy writing about anything and everything you want!

2: Be aware of your audience.

The entire world has access to your site at any given moment, so the publicity of a blog (without privacy settings) is pretty immense. Therefore, it is very important that you are aware of the information that you post and pay close attention to photos to ensure that your location isn’t outwardly revealed unless you want it to be. Blogging is one of my biggest hobbies, but safety is always taken into consideration before I hit the “publish” button. I don’t mean to discourage you; I just want you to be aware of your audience and make smart decisions when you post.

3: It takes time to grow.

One of the most common concerns that you may have when you first begin a blog is the lack of readers because it takes a while to become recognized in the community. Don’t become discouraged, but use this time to improve your site and become familiar with certain blogging techniques. I recommend that you engage with other bloggers by following, liking, and commenting on their sites, and it also helps to promote your blog on existing social media platforms. With time, you will gain more followers and your status/traffic will continue to grow!

4: Quality over quantity.

I think one of the worst mistakes that you can make as a blogger is forgetting that the quality of posts always overrules quantity. Don’t rush the writing process just to post something because this will lead to poor quality posts that will bore both you and your readers, so write when you are inspired. Your posts do not have deadline, so you can take as long as you need (days, weeks, or even months.) Whatever you do, you must always maintain quality over quantity.

5: Respond to readers.

When people take time to comment on your posts, it is always good to like and respond to them even if it is a simple ‘thank you.’ They made the effort to reach out to you and express their thoughts and appreciation for your writing, so don’t let that go unrecognized.

6: Research writing prompts.

There are going to be times when you really want to write something, but you just don’t know what. Whenever this happens, I honestly Google writing prompts to get my creativity flowing again. That is my little blogging secret…

7: Why not?

Blogging has really given me the opportunity to express myself, share my passion of writing with the world, meet hundreds of inspiring people, and document memorable moments of my life that can be revisited in the future. If blogging has ever crossed your mind, I really encourage you to at least try it because why not? You can always delete your site if you hate it, but you will never know unless you try. My blog has really impacted my life, and I don’t have a single regret. I am so thankful for all of my readers, and I hope to continue posting for many years to come.


Please feel free to drop any individual questions in the comments section because I am happy to help you begin/continue your blogging journey! A few months ago, I released a post that provided a small overview of my experience on WordPress so far, so be sure to go check that out if you are interested. Thank you so much for reading, and good luck blogging!

What are your thoughts on this post? Do you have any tips or advice? Are there any questions that you still have? Ask away!

Senior Year!

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I am officially a senior… I feel really old when I say that, and it sounds a little freaky if I’m honest. I still can’t believe that I have actually come this far, but I know that my journey is only just beginning as I decide where I want to go from here. Auditions for professional dance companies are quickly filling up my calendar, and college applications, research, and tours are going to keep me busy for the next several months. I have reached a very confusing and stressful time in my life as I make major life-decisions that will determine my entire future in both dance and school.

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The possibilities seem endless as I attempt to narrow down the perfect fit for me and figure out what I truly want to do with my life. For years, I had always seemed to know exactly what I wanted and thought I had a plan to get there. However, I am quickly realizing that life is much more complicated than I once thought because things are constantly changing, and new opportunities are always arising. Out of seventeen years, I think this just might be the biggest and most determining one yet…

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Here’s to another awesome year, new memories, and lovely faces. School has officially begun, and I am almost to the finish line for high school graduation. I just have to get through a few more classes…This will be definitely not be an easy year, but it is SENIOR YEAR so bring it on!! I am ready, so let’s do this!

What was your senior year like? Do you have any tips to narrow down universities? What have you been up to lately? Thanks for reading!

Why Worry?

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We worry about if we made the right decisions yesterday. We worry about our ability to do everything “right” today. We worry about what will happen tomorrow…

That is a lot of unnecessary worrying, and these thoughts are often followed by anxiety which is detrimental to our health. It can be so easy to detach from our faith as we allow these unsettled thoughts to invade our minds, and we often forget that God has a plan. Hence, if we make a wrong turn somewhere down the road, things will always straighten out way that they are suppose to and lead us where we are meant to be. As hard as we try, we will never have complete control over our lives because most things are beyond our control. So why waste so much time worrying? Think about it: We can spend all day worrying about the past, but it will never change. We can spend all day worrying about the future, but most of the things we worry about don’t even end up happening anyways. Be fully present in this moment, and trust in God’s plan for your life. Never be afraid, and don’t worry.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6: 34

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13

This is something that I am really going to work on this semester because I was so lost last year… I spent so much time trying to figure out how to overcome my stress/anxiety, but I think I have finally found my answer through faith. I hope that I can keep my eyes on Him, and not allow distractions to pull me away again no matter how hectic life gets. This is my goal for this new school year.

What is something that you are working on? Do you struggle with anxiety? Are you guilty of allowing worry to overtake your life? Feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comments section, and I hope that you all have a fantastic week (worry free).