Live in the moment because the present is a present.

“You have so much

but are always hungry for more

stop looking up at everything you don’t have

and look at everything you do.

 

where the satisfaction lives — Rupi Kaur

Whether you like poetry or not, this Rupi Kaur poem mainly goes out to undergraduate seniors who don’t really know what to do after college. (I’m assuming most of you are in or out of undergrad!) If you have something planned, I applaud and congratulate you with all the sincerity in my heart (not to sound corny — LOL). If you don’t, don’t stress, and don’t obsess either, you’ll end up driving people nuts. (Yes, that was an apology long overdue for my indecisiveness.) And hey, even that internship you’re most likely doing this semester will turn into a full-time job! Stranger things have happened!

Something that I didn’t feel completely content with until now, was the fact I wasn’t getting a source of income outside my work-study position. But then I realized, “what’s the point in getting a job ON TOP of an internship? PLUS a work-study job!?” Being perfectly content with what you have already is huge. This is a little thing I like to call gratitude. 

The reason why I say “don’t stress,” I know, it’s easier said than done! I say that because if you do, you could be so obsessed with finding a job that it’s easier to miss out on the life that’s happening right in front of you! You’d be amazed at the people who are all about the hustle and the go, go, go, that they don’t take in any views, scenery, sunsets, you name it!

Life is too short to be sitting around preoccupied. I couldn’t be happier with knowing that I have an internship for the semester on top of work-study. I’ll be graduating in May with my fellow classmates, and with people to celebrate with afterward. I wasn’t even remotely disappointed when I applied and interviewed for a job and didn’t get it! For everything and everyone in my life, I am grateful. I am currently sitting in front of my beautiful fireplace and writing this — savoring and living in the moment. I look at that fire, and I smile, despite my loving Chocolate Labrador, Ginger, making harmonious noise. I look into the fire one more time, recognizing the fire within me, that I know that I am not the same person I was three years ago when I would literally lay down on the hard, wooden floor, smoke from the fire filling my lungs, mind filled with so much uncertainty about whether or not to transfer colleges. Well, look where I am now!

Long story short: the past is the past. The future will come — don’t fear it nor think about it [too much.] The present is seriously a present. 🎁 Savor it, love it, live in it. Don’t question it. End of story.

What are you grateful for in the present? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo

April 💕

 

 

 

“Wait, Let Me Overthink This.” Raise Your Hand If You’ve Ever Been Victimized By Overthinking.

“Thoughts are the seeds of action.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thoughts do not dictate reality, however. In fact, in my opinion, and in my journey through spirituality, our masculine energy (or “the thinker”) makes us crazy! It’s simple: we think too much. We need to learn how to feel and tap more into our feminine energy.

We are now settled (most of us, I hope) into a new decade and year. We are out of the stressful holiday season, and into the new year. As some of you may know, I’ve been practicing ways to further my spirituality. But I have to admit, it scares me at times. I’m not trying to be a psychic, but I’m just saying, as someone with chronic anxiety, it really can be nervewracking. The fact of the matter is that it shouldn’t be so nervewracking that you start to overthink. I was even thinking about the concept of overthinking while I was making ramen and eggs (which tastes DELICIOUS!) I came to realize, you’re basically setting yourself up for self-sabotage.

Why are you questioning what’s already right in front of you?

Now, I am addressing why I can’t ever seem to “make up my mind” about my career, until just recently. And by “recently” I mean last week. Here’s the thing, though: I’ve always known I wanted to work with domestic violence victims, which is what I’m doing. There. I know what I want, I just needed to stop overthinking. In fact, just writing this post brought me back down to reality. Everything is fine. Repeat after me, everything is fine. Inhale, exhale. AND JUST BE GRATEFUL. Write it down, do something because you are doing great. You don’t even need a psychic to tell you that.

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Moreover, I am fulfilled completely as-is. Don’t question whether or not the universe has your back or not. You also need to have your own back. That isn’t to say other people won’t, but trust me, you’re good!

xoxo

April 💕

Word of the Year: Intention | What will you contribute?

One of the first things Ricky Gervais said during his opening monologue (with a rather large alcoholic beverage in tow — this just goes to show how much people like to get plowed at the Golden Globes), was not to make any political remarks. But let’s be real, was anyone going to take that seriously? The answer is no. In fact, the Golden Globes, for as long as I can remember, have been a platform for celebrities to encourage viewers at home to not only vote but to take action politically. The 2018 Golden Globes especially, everyone wore black for the #TimesUp movement.

Everything that these celebrities said, especially Michelle Williams’ speech on the importance of women voting, was said with intention. The word “intention,” often shortened to “intent,” is not a word thrown around quite often. The words “letter of intent,” appear a lot on graduate school applications, though, as well as job applications. As I am writing this, I am thinking, what do people intend to do with their master’s? Ph.D.? Blog posts? Such as this one?

For me, my intention when writing is to inspire. There will never be a day where I stop writing or creating. It’s scary that in just 16 days, I will be a second-semester senior. The feeling of it is just starting to dawn on me. Do senior scaries exist? Let me know.

I realize I’ve gone back and forth throughout my college career; what to major in, what clubs I want to join, whether or not I wish to go to graduate school, to study abroad (which I didn’t end up doing), and more importantly: what I want to do for a career. What I am coming to the conclusion is that I want to keep riding my pathway to help victims of domestic violence.

Another question that comes to mind is what is my life’s intention? Easy. To help. So, in the words of Robin Williams’ (R.I.P.) famous character, John Keating:

“To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here — that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

Well, what would it be? What will you contribute?

 

The Year Of The Rat, The Year Of 4, The Year Of ACTION | New Age Morning Rituals and Reads

Happy New Year, everybody! Here we are in the… new roaring twenties? This year came in like a lion for sure, especially with Gronk being a co-host with Steve Harvey on FOX’s NYE special — boy, is that guy a party animal!

I’ve preached on Instagram to not be “all-talk” about yours/mine/our goals for 2020. I can’t stand when people are “all-talk” and no do or action. My Enneagram type is 4, which is coincidentally my number for this year as well as 2020 in numerology. According to a little something I also shared on Instagram, Enneagram 4’s are the artist who will not only bring the action to the new year but to actually act. Here’s the key to resolutions: your “new year” will be the same as the last if you don’t change your habits. As I’ve also preached in Conquering Anxiety And Achieving Well-Being, Overall, you can bitch and moan or you can freakin DO SOMETHING!!! Change and manifestation don’t work unless you do. The (in)famous New Years Resolutions similarly don’t work unless you do.

With that being said, I took some inspiration from The Gem Goddess on YouTube and created my own little morning routine. Even though I have been doing this said routine for two mornings thus far, I remind you that it does not take much time to develop a habitual routine. Moreover, I light a vanilla-scented candle (you can use any scented candle — that just happens to be my favorite scent). I also light vanilla incense and use it until it comes to a stub. I then take my red, polka-dotted journal and jot down my intentions for the day and to what and whom I am grateful. The trick is to say your intentions in the present tense; that way, you can write your intentions as if you already have them, which is KEY in manifestation.  I then meditate on my intentions with the sounds of Inspirabel, high-vibrational music that will also increase your vibrations. Classical music has a way of “doing that.” I recommend listening to it with headphones, or you could also listen to a guided meditation. If you don’t have heat in your room, wrap yourself in a soft, weighted blanket. Comfort is also key. Like I said, I did this for two days and it WORKS!

It also helps if you have some tea to calm your anxious nerves (especially if you haven’t taken your meds yet), or some coffee to wake you up. I know, those two do sound contradictory. I personally have one cup of coffee, then make myself a cup of green tea. In 2019, and in the years before that, I went a little crazy on my coffee intake, but not this year! It’s just not good for you! Speaking of which, I’m not going to drink alcohol unless it’s on a holiday, special occasion, or when I go out to a restaurant to eat. This will do wonders for your body, as well as your mental health.

Another thing: READ MORE! Take a couple of hours to stay off of your phone to read. This January, I am reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson, and Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. This won’t be easy considering I’m taking a course in British Literature this semester, but I always find a way. 😉

 

 

 

 

Coming to Peace With Your Past|A Decade in Review

In Beyonce’s 2013 Pepsi commercial, she says at the end, “embrace your past.” This phrase didn’t ring 100% true to me until this year — the end of the decade. I’m not going to do a year in review simply because it’s the end of the 2010s and into the 2020s. Everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve become, everything I could be, happened all in this decade.

2010: My dad was fighting cancer, and I’ve learned how to live with his illness, resultantly. This meant learning how to sacrifice. This was also the year I was introduced to social media.

2011: This is the year I broke. Not only was I dealing with a four-month diagnosis of mono, but also with depression and being bullied severely.

2012: I was accepted to my top-choice private school at the beginning of January and at the end of the year, I had my first boyfriend and heartbreak within exactly two weeks!

2013: A whirlwind of things happened this year. I got my license, and I became cold-blooded — something I am not proud of. But I did discover Vine and Instagram!

2014: Began looking at colleges, did [insert an Ivy League school’s pre-college summer program] and hated it. I then started working at the hospital where my dad was treated. I also had appendicitis… who knew I would ever need surgery?

2015: Left high school behind (meaning I graduated… 8th in my class🤓). I also started college.

2016: I moved to Rhode Island two days before my twentieth birthday, and I started writing and editing for The Odyssey. In October, I went through a bad breakup. I also started writing for Her Culture. Did I mention I also started this blog!?

2017: Okay, just read ‘Cause I Still Got A Lotta Fight Left In Me | My Hospital Stay | My Mental Illness(es) where I made two bold decisions: 1) to get a diagnosis and 2) to transfer and start over at RWU.

2018: I interned at Rhode Island Monthly, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. For more, read Here’s To The Best Summer Of My Life: A Reflection.

2019: Easy. I wrote a thesis on Docupoetics, got into Title IX advocacy, and met my love (hi, Steve! And THANK YOU, Bumble!).

I’m just going to talk about the year 2019 a little bit more in-depth. 2019 was more about learning my worth as a human being, so much more than I thought I ever would learn. Learning about who you are is one thing, but your worth is another. You can say who you are in a thirty-second elevator pitch, but you shouldn’t even have to explain your worth. I learned not to take any sh*t from sheep from different farms. I found that I am not only creative, but I am seriously courageous and surely resilient. That’s not something you can put in an Instagram bio. Speaking of bios, I went from writing “I run what you run in 10 years in 2 days” meaning I went from an immature, sub-tweeting high school track star to saying “#supportsurvivors” [of sexual assault]. With that being said, I found a career.

Coming to peace with your past is like Beyonce looking at all her past music video outfits in the dancing mirrors. I don’t know what it’s like to be in a music video, but I sure know what it’s like to see yourself in the mirror and look at how much you’ve changed in ten years’ time. Coming to peace with your past is all about moving on, learning from your mistakes and ultimately accepting them. That’s not to say there won’t be regrets. But whoever said, “will it matter in 5-10 years?” was so right.

So I say this: here’s to a new decade of life and blessings. Here’s to a decade of keeping your worth at the forefront of your wind. Here’s to a decade of more blog posts, and who knows? Maybe I’ll have a novel published at this time and I’ll be a leader of social justice. No more settling for less than you deserve, being treated as less than you are and keeping journal pages clean and full of words left unsaid.

Happy New Year! 🥂

 

 

 

 

BLOG-MAS: How to Positively Survive Stress During the Holidays

I’ll be honest with you, at the beginning of the month, I sat in my therapist’s office… and cried. The holidays are stressful for some, others not so much. For me? I’ll be candid. The holidays have brought a lot of emotional baggage for the past four years, so basically, since I started college.

People tend to put a lot of pressure on the holidays. I was talking to one of my fellow writers, and she said, “I put a lot of pressure on special days to be extraordinary but sometimes they’re just a regular day with a little extra ‘pizazz.'” For some people, the holidays can bring back unpleasant memories, while others may be struggling to make ends meet and actually put something under the tree, or simply stocking stuffers! I almost didn’t get a tree this year! People could be grieving, while there are those who thrive on social media posting pictures with captions like Merry Chrysler! but don’t let those pictures fool you, social media has a way of hiding stuff “behind the camera–” the things not seen. I’m surprised if there’s someone out there with not the least bit of baggage around the holidays, and I’m not being negative here!

But here are a few tips to survive any aspect of the holiday season:

  1.  Pray or meditate. I know there may be so much to do, but even if you’re a parent wrapping gifts for the kids, a simple meditation (while the kids are sleeping) will help.
  2. When in doubt, make gifts! If you’re crafty, I’m sure you can make something even if it’s a pinecone elf! There are other things to do like writing a poem or making a video!
  3. Journal. I cannot stress this enough. I especially recommend Junk Journaling — I’ve been following Katy Bellotte’s journaling methods, and I LOVE it. I even asked for glue sticks and washi tape for Christmas!
  4. Donate to a cause you care about, even if it’s just a dollar. This year my mom donated to one of my favorite causes, Women for Women. I SUGGEST YOU DONATE, TOO!
  5. Volunteer someplace. Giving blood helps, too especially during the winter.

Here’s an example of “Junk Journaling:”

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BLOG-MAS TUESDAY: April’s Guide to Surviving Finals Week

Taking a break from writing a paper, and currently wrapped up in the stress of finals week. Finals week can be tough, especially when there’s a lot to do. I only have two written finals, but this paper for African Literature has my eyes red and puffy and my stomach in knots. I feel like that acne commercial with Emma Roberts: “I stress out then I break out… then I stress out even more!” Unintentionally said finals week can make your skin break out like no other. 🎶So, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why: FINALS WEEK IS GOING TO BE OKAY!🎶

  1.  Let it all out when you need to do so. By that, I mean cry. Crying is healthy. It doesn’t help when it’s all bottled up.
  2. Don’t leave things to the last minute.
  3. Drink WATER 💦 no one can live on just coffee.
  4. With that being said, eat your nutrients. I’m not talking about fatty foods but get some stirfry, eggs, or sushi. Don’t skip a meal — it’s not good for you!
  5. Book a meeting with your therapist or counselor, if you have one.
  6. If you have a job on campus, I’m sure your supervisor won’t mind if you take an hour off to do final projects.
  7. Take your medications and/or vitamins.
  8. Go to your school’s tutoring center if you have last-minute finals questions.
  9. Take Reading Days to your full advantage and STUDY.
  10. Take care of your skin. I use KORRES Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Facial.
  11. Clear a little space in your dorm/room/apartment (no matter where you live while going to school). Studies have shown that having a cluttered room increases anxiety.
  12. Reward yourself with a glass of white/red wine after finals, a day with your sweetheart, or a much-needed nap. You deserve it all!

If you’re stressing about grades, just know that they really are just grades, but you WILL pass finals, I garauntee you.

Here’s some inspirational quotes that’ll hopefully lift your spirits:

Good luck!

xoxo

April 💕

 

BLOG-MAS TUESDAY: Getting Out Of The Comfort Zone | Just Trust It

HAPPY first day of Blog-Mas Tuesday, everyone! This idea stemmed last year but unfortunately wasn’t consistent. So, I asked, and y’all answered: “Blog-Mas Tuesday” chumps “Festive Friday Nights” (…by a landslide 😜). Nonetheless, I look back on last year’s (only) Blog-Mas Tuesday to find it was about kindness. I guess I only needed to do one last year because I’ll admit that one rocked if I do say so myself. 💁🏼‍♀️ I particularly liked that post because it was when I first got my start in Title IX, and as some people could probably tell by reading that post, a lot of plans changed.

I know what you’re thinking: this girl cannot make up her mind. No, I just don’t have a clear pathway, yet. 

As said in No one’s going to tell you what to do and/or For the College Student(s) Having Doubts, I’ve been having doubts about taking a year off. But I am feeling better about it because yesterday, I applied for a job in Boston (and may end up living there for a year or two or three, or four).

The funny thing is that I was actually recruited to apply, and although I can’t go to law school right away, this will give me a glimpse of what it’s like to live in a big city that I’ve been talking about living in since May. What’s even funnier is that I read an Instagram post that talked about getting out of the comfort zone.

The comfort zone is something no one can emerge out of easily, but it is possible. For me, getting out of my comfort zone is easier than it was than say, four years ago. Let’s be real: no successful person became successful by living in their comfort zone. It’s all about taking risks to get what you want. If that surely is the case, then I don’t think anyone wants to live in their comfort zone forever.

One thing I know for sure is that everyone wants to be comfortable, no matter if it’s in your own bed, beach house bed, or even your grandmother’s guest room. I remember sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag at a school in Manchester, NH on a Winter Break Alternative trip when I went to SAC, with people I had yet to come to know. Then came transferring schools, which was even scarier. Moreover, on that particular service trip, I learned what going to school was like in a semi-urban community. Learning how to speak Spanish at a higher level than you’re used to is even more nervewracking because you don’t know if you’re saying everything 100% correctly. [Hint hint: this is actually what I might be doing come August 2020, so stay tuned — minus the sleeping on a floor]. 

“There may be something God has called you to that feels uncomfortable — maybe to the point where you’re not even sure if you can keep moving forward.”

Maybe this is what I was called to do at the time. Maybe this job in Boston is what I was called to do in my gap year. I shouldn’t let this terrify me; I should just trust it. But what is “it?” Fate? God? My guides? The world may never know.

No one’s going to tell you what to do

I’ve always been a dreamer, as a kid. My “goals” in the first grade were to have three cats and live in Disney World — only to have that dream come true on Olympic Day 2013, at my high school, when I dressed up as Sleeping Beauty/Aurora and I lived like Belle: always with a nose in a [chemistry] book. I had two cats at the time. No, I did not live in Disney World.

Even in first grade, I dreamt about finishing college. I’m less than 180 days away from that, as we speak. The first time I ever had to put that on a halt was Spring 2017. The one thing I was never 100% sure of, was what I’d be doing for a career.

I can tell you this: when I first started college, I thought I’d be an oncology doctor until I was getting a warning grade in Biology and I switched from major to major. Everyone knows by now that I study Creative Writing, nonetheless at another college than I started at. With that major, everyone expected me to be an author or an editor. I thought about being an editor for a while, only to find myself on Student Senate.

I honestly don’t remember how exactly I came to be a “future lawyer,” all I know is that I want to help people.

I learned from a fellow Instagrammer that in the end, I take ownership of my life and what I do. I don’t need anyone to nag me that I need to pick a career right away, which is why I feel better about taking a year off. All I need to have is a plan B, C, D, etc. I can tell you right away that plan B may not work out for me as planned, but maybe plan C will!

Sometimes bloggers need life advice, too! But no one is going to tell you what to do, that is if you let them rule your life, which no one has the power to do.

And that’s the tea. ☕

xoxo,

April 💕

For the College Student(s) Having Doubts

College really is hard. I remember when I first started college at SAC, I wasn’t sure how to balance school work and more friends than I ever had in my entire life! (Sad, but it’s true).

I’m just going to cut to the chase in this blog post (I get it, it’s my third one in a week, but my Instagram polls do not lie when people want to read more! Thank you to those who said ‘yes!’)

  1. It is indubitable that you will discover the wonders of alcohol in college. But in my senior year, I can tell you that it’s really not worth getting black/browned out drunk, no matter how stressed you are. (Yes, ‘browned out’ is an actual term).
  2. Investing in a planner, especially the right one, is totally worth it. It’s like wearing the right bra!
  3. Transferring is okay, even if that means adding an extra semester (or year) to school.
  4. Seeking counseling in college is also okay. Yes, all schools have counseling centers, depending on which one you go to.
  5. You won’t know what you’re interested in until perhaps your junior year of college. Some people find out in their freshman year, but it’s okay if you haven’t found your passion, just yet.
  6. College is not like high school, I can promise you that. I’m talking socially. There will be people who clearly haven’t matured, yet. But that’s their problem, not yours.
  7. “Rate My Professor.com” will be one of your best buddies. A subject that’s worth pursuing could be a hit or miss depending on the professor. However, I did learn from a peer mentor that some comments written about a professor are primarily students that don’t put in their best effort.
  8. With that being said, build relationships with faculty and staff! You may just get good recommendations!
  9. Go with your gut when it comes to pursuing a major. It may take about 5-6 tries (like me) but the classes you take will actually boost your resume and cover letters!
  10. Going off of that, no matter which major you choose, I promise you can do anything with it. For example, I’m a Creative Writing major who plans on going into law. That wasn’t always the case. But internships you’ve had will also boost your resume!
  11. You don’t have to have a “set” plan after graduation, but you need to at least have a plan B or C. My mom had to go far as to plan K!
  12. No one said you had to go to graduate school right away! I guess it’s time to share a life update: I’m not going to law school right away!
  13. I recommend getting a job or an internship before you graduate undergrad. Those definitely help you figure out what you want to do. Even if you’re not in college, this is the ideal situation.
  14. It’s no big deal if you don’t study abroad. I had plans to but didn’t. Everything happens for a reason.
  15. Like I said in For the Girl About to Turn 22 | Welcome to My Jordan Year (23), you don’t have to have a cool job right after graduation. I know people who didn’t find the right one until 2 years after undergrad!
  16. Life happens and you may have to take time off, it’s no big deal!
  17. In a year from now, whether you graduate summa, magna, or cum laude, that’s going to matter. Not that it even matters if you graduate with honors or not.