Decisions

grounding

“Decisions. We can think about things, turn them over in our minds a million times, play out possible scenarios, but really when it comes down to it, you have to go with your heart and move forward. Maybe things will go well. Maybe they’ll turn out poorly. Every decision brings with it some good, some bad, some lessons, and some luck. The only thing that’s for sure is that indecision steals many years from many people who wind up wishing they’d just had the courage to leap.”

~Doe Zantamata


It can be scary to make a decision especially if it entails major changes in your life. Sometimes, you are put in a situation where you are given two very different options, and you are forced to choose which path to take. You are not sure which one is “right” and you don’t really know where you are meant to go, so you spend time contemplating the alternatives. Days go by, followed by weeks, and even months. Your gut feeling tells you which path to take, but you are too paralyzed to actually make things happen because you worry that you are wrong and fear the pit of regret. However, you cannot spend your entire life dwelling on the unknown because the truth is that you are never going to be 100% sure of every outcome. It is not possible. You are wasting so many opportunities if you let fear take complete control and if you allow other people to sway your direction in life. Do what you want to do, and go where you feel like you should be. Definitely consider the outcomes, but don’t spend your entire life sitting around waiting because you are afraid.

Make a decision. Make it happen.

Reflection from the week…

*Photo Credits: Claire H.

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!

elements ii

photography1

“there’s a universe

swirling inside you.

 

you have to learn to be

your own earth,

wind, fire

and water.

 

you are a natural

phenomenon-

not a natural disaster.”

~Unknown

*Photo Credits: Richard Jean-Louis

Sunshine Blogger Award

“The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition award for bloggers that inspires positivity and joy.”

I am so humbled to have been nominated for this award by one of my awesome followers, rubeenafaisal. I am glad that my blog is viewed in such a positive way, and I hope that my posts continue to inspire my readers. Thank you so much for this recognition! 🙂

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Questions for Me:

1) Name any two qualities a blogger should have according to you?

I think it is important that a blogger is considerate of other readers’ opinions when posting content, and creativity is always a good quality to have.

2) A social incident that shook your head and heart so far?

Honestly, there are a few incidents that would be a great response to this question, but they are quite personal…

3) Name any 2 of your favourite book that you recommend others to read?

I haven’t read many (non-academic) books recently, but I was obsessed with the Harry Potter series last summer. I also loved Almost Home by Joan Bauer because it was so eye opening.

4) if you could change your nationality which one will you select and why?

I have never actually been, but Greece seems like such a beautiful place! The history, artwork, and food is so awesome, so I think it would be pretty neat to be Greek.

5) A place that you’re dieing to visit for a long time?

I would love to cruise through the Bahamas someday.

6) Your favourite spot?

Does my bed count? It is so comfortable, and I could rest my eyes for HOURS if I had the time.

7)watching a movie or reading a book, which one you prefer the most?

Personally, I prefer watching a movie because I have to read so much for school that I have (temporarily) lost the patience/joy of reading a book.

8) Two of your favourite quote?

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work” (Colin Powell).

“She believed she could so she did” (Unknown).

9) An adventurous thing to do in your bucketlist?

I really want to go snorkeling by a coral reef again.

10) Name any two famous personality whom you would like to inspire?

I do not follow celebrity news or entertainment, so I don’t have a famous inspiration unless you are talking about ballet. In that case, I think Sara Mearns has been the most inspirational for me. She is so humble which has really motivated me to keep working for my goals, and her optimistic mentality has really kept me hungry for success.

11) Your favourite cartoon character?

Unfortunately, I do not watch very much t.v, so I don’t know. Sorry!

I nominate…

  1. Gayle
  2. T.R. Noble
  3. fourtysomethingheyhey
  4. Hayley
  5. Maggie
  6. Hannah
  7. Rebekah
  8. Ariana
  9. Girl in the White Shirt
  10. Ezra
  11. Kaycee

My Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite thing about the summer?
  2. Where would your dream vacation be?
  3. How long do you spend on your blog/reader each day?
  4. Pool or beach?
  5. Have you had a particular song on repeat lately? Which one?
  6. Lemonade or sweet tea on a hot summer afternoon?
  7. What is the latest that you have ever slept in?
  8. Do you have a favorite fruit?
  9. Where do you go most often when you are with your friends?
  10. What was the last book that you read?
  11. Do you prefer the coast or the mountains?

Please do not feel obligated to participate, and I completely respect your decision either way. Thanks again,rubeenafaisal, for nominating me!

*** I do not own the rights to this photo, and it was copied directly from Huguette Antoun.

Social Media

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Not too long ago, I use to feel like the odd-one-out in a social atmosphere with other teens, because I always felt like I was the only one without all of the social media accounts that seem to “run” this generation. Recently, I have been realizing how much social media has completely destroyed the ACTUAL social life of so many people. It is even worse than most people realize…

If someone took your phone away from you for a week, how would you react? How hard would it be for YOU to be away from social media for that long? Some of you might be cringing at the thought of it, but think about how different this world would be if people weren’t on their phones all of the time. People would actually notice the people sitting in the same room as them, and they would get to know them better. People would talk about more than just the latest posts on their social media pages, and they would act like they actually cared about what the other person was trying to say by not multitasking on their phone. People would stop sending wordless Snap Chats of their faces to their friends online, and they would realize when they have a true friend sitting right in front of them trying to talk. Finally, people would begin to understand that there is more to this world than…social media…

Just something to think about.

Standards

sad

“I can’t control your behavior;

nor do I want that burden…

but I will not apologize for

refusing to be disrespected,

to be lied to, or to be mistreated.

I have standards; step up or step out.”

~Steve Maraboli

This is such a great quote, so I figured that I would post it with this great photo! This was taken a week ago during a photo shoot with the wonderful photographer, Richard Jean-Louis! I am looking forward to continue working with him in the future, and I am excited to share more of this shoot very shortly!

Photo Credits: Richard Jean- Louis

Is A Blog Right 4 You?

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Backstage shot of me in Coppelia.

Lately, I have received many questions about blogging by quite a bit of people! Therefore, I thought that it might be beneficial to post my top four most frequently asked questions to help you find out if a blog is right for you… I just want to note that I have answered these questions based off of MY experience and MY opinions; not everyone will agree with my responses, and that is okay!! If you are a blogger or have experience with blogging, feel welcome to place your personal opinions/ answers in the comment section.

1- I really want to begin a blog, but I just don’t have much time to post.

This is a common misconception that stops a lot of people from starting a blog. Let me just get straight to the point, YOU DON’T HAVE TO POST EVERYDAY! In fact, I know some great bloggers that only post once a week, only on weekends, or even just once a month! It is your blog and your schedule, so you can do whatever works best for you!! 🙂

2-I am new to blogging, but I can’t ever seem to come up with some good post ideas…

To be honest, I sometimes have trouble coming up with interesting things to write about too! Luckily, the internet has saved me from this blank phase many times, and there are multiple websites that list 100+ great blog post ideas… My secret is out, can you keep it?

3-I am not good at writing, so I feel like I would be a terrible blogger…

Well, I have to admit that I was not (and still am not) very good at writing. No one expects you to be 100% flawless; it isn’t reality. Secondly, writing and practicing regularly can actually help you improve your writing skills! So, why wouldn’t you want to start a blog?

4- What is the best advice that you have for new bloggers?

The best advice that I can give is to just always be aware of the publicity of your blog and always be very cautious about what you post; you never know who may be on the other side of the screen… This isn’t to discourage you, but it is important to always keep this in mind! Lastly, don’t become overly obsessed with the number of followers and likes that you receive. It is true that you will go through a constant cycle of followers, and you may not get a lot of likes on some posts. However, you are initially blogging for YOU! Don’t let the number of likes that you receive dictate what you post about! Enjoy blogging and post about what you want to, whether it is interesting or not! 🙂 Remember to HAVE FUN!!

I hope that this Q & A post helped cleared up some confusion about blogging, and maybe even inspired you to start your own! Let me know if you have any other questions that I have not answered. Thanks for reading!