During this time…

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“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

~Maya Angelou

beach glass

beachglass

in my hand I hold a story

washed away by the sands of time

 

a fragment of the past

beaten and forgotten

stripped from depths that never saw the light

 

lost among the wreckage

of a perilous journey for years

it somehow found its way to me

 

but I cannot retell its tale

for its origins are still a mystery

forever lost under the waves

 

through all the uncertainty,

I know that I am holding

a connection to the past

 

a beautiful piece of beach glass


I recently took a walk along the shore and recovered a few pieces of beach glass that inspired me to write this. I began to wonder if they are a hundred year old remains from a shipwreck or simply a bottle that fell overboard… They could be anything, and the possibilities seemed endless. I think it is amazing to consider the story behind something so simple, and the history of something in my hand. What are your thoughts on this?

Update & University Search

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It’s finally Saturday! This was my first week back to school after having an entire month off, so it was a serious slap back to reality. Homework, deadlines, and exams are already on the calendar, but my brain is still on vacation (let’s be real.) I love my professors a lot though, and I am determined to finish strong because this is my last semester before I transfer to a new college. It isn’t going to be easy, but my goal is to finish with all A’s. I am currently taking Financial Accounting, Chemistry 2 and Lab, Algebra, Music Appreciation, and American Literature. Honestly, my classes are a lot harder than they were before, but I am up for the challenge… I think. I was also glad to see some of my friends again, but there are a few faces that I will miss seeing this semester as well.

As far as universities, I am almost finished applying to everywhere that I am interested. I just have to finish a few essays, and I will be all set. Yesterday, I completed my very first housing/dorming application, and the nerves really started kicking in as I began to consider moving away from home in a few months. I recently got accepted into a great school, but it’s farther from home than I was hoping to be… I am considering it though because my classes transfer better than the other places that I have looked into, and it looks like a beautiful campus. I always thought I wanted to dorm, but I am honestly beginning to wonder how I would feel about being far from my family especially with a new sibling on the way. Here come more big decisions…

I know this was a long post, but I have been really inactive on here and needed to catch up a bit. I hope that you are all doing well, and I really miss reading your posts. I appreciate all of you who have stuck around, and I am hoping to post more soon. What have you been up to? Has anything exciting happened in your life recently? Thanks for reading!

A New Decade

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A new decade has begun, and a new journey awaits… No matter how 2019 went for you, do not forget the lessons and experiences that helped you become the person that you are today. I hope 2020 is a great year, and I am excited to see what it has in store for all of us.


I am astounded at the growth of this blog within the past twelve months, and I could not be more thankful for the tremendous amount of support. This site topped 8,000 views this year, and I received visitors from all over the world! I am so glad to be part of this community of writers because you are all so talented and inspiring. My most popular post in 2019 was ‘Don’t Be Beautiful’ so be sure to go check that out if you haven’t already!

Beyond the blog, I also want to give a shout-out to all of the people in my personal life who were always there for me and made the year so memorable especially my mom. I don’t know what I would have done without you guys, and it means the world (you know who you are.) 2019 definitely wasn’t an easy year, but it was one that I wont forget because it truly changed my life.

Here’s to a new year and a fresh start. Happy 2020!

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…

Exploring Cherokee, NC

bear statue

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.

mingofalls

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!