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Data reveals stars real world salaries, from Bradley Cooper to Kourtney Kardashian

We all know that lots of people aren’t doing a job directly related to their university degrees but did you know that many celebrities are also in the same boat? This makes us wonder what would happen if they weren’t famous and if they had to survive in the “normal” job market, relying simply on their degrees like we do?

Interested to find this out, SEO provider Reboot utilized Payscale.com and estimated the potential 2023 annual salary of 27 celebrities based on their university degreesrevealing the mind-blowing number of years they would need to reach their current net worth if they took an alternative job!  

How long would it take them to reach their current net worth? 

CelebrityUniversityCollege/university degreePotential job rolePredicted salary 2023 £Number of years to reach current net worth 
Chris MartinUniversity College LondonAncient World StudiesMuseum curator40,0003,293
Prince WilliamUniversity of St AndrewsGeographyArchitectural technologist33,0002,494
Emma WatsonBrown UniversityEnglish literatureWriter31,0002,257
Bradley CooperGeorgetown UniversityEnglishEditorial assistant49,3791,667
John LegendUniversity of PennsylvaniaEnglish, African American literatureWriter56,7861,449
Tom HiddlestonUniversity of CambridgeClassicsArchivist30,0001,098
Kourtney KardashianUniversity of ArizonaTheatre Arts and SpanishProduction Manager, Theater50,2021,066
Gerard ButlerUniversity of GlasgowLawLawyer65,0001,013
Natalie PortmanHarvard UniversityPsychologyClinical psychologist79,007938
Eva LongoriaCalifornia State UniversityMA Chicano studiesHigher education lecturer73,804894

Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin ranked first as the celebrities who would take the longest to reach their current net worth if they had to earn their fortune based on a university degree alone! Graduated from University College London with a degree in Ancient World Studies, the British singer would be most likely to be a museum curator like other graduates with the same degree. It is estimated that he would be earning an annual salary of £40,000 this year, which would have required him to work 3,293 more years in order to reach his current net worth! 

Prince WIlliam ranked second. Despite his current net worth standing at £83 million, most typical Geography graduates would earn £33,000 on average in 2023 after 17 years of work experience. If Prince William was born into a different family, he may have instead become an architectural technologist – meaning that it would have taken him 2,494 years to become as rich as he is now. 

In third place is actress Emma Watson, who graduated from Brown University with a degree in English literature. With her English degree and interests in journaling and reading books, she could have become a writer after graduation, earning potentially a salary of £31,000 this year. This means it would take her 2,257 years to reach the same net worth she has now if she didn’t step into the acting industry playing Hermione Granger. 

Who would earn the most with their university degree?

CelebrityCollege/university degreePotential job rolePredicted salary 2023 £
Ken JeongMedical degreeDoctor / General Practitioner157,646
Mayim BialikPhDin neuroscienceNeuroscientist134,147
2 ChainzPsychologyClinical psychologist86,414
Christy TurlingtonMasters in Public HealthHealthcare Consultant83,122
Natalie PortmanPsychologyClinical psychologist79,007
Eva LongoriaMasters in Chicano studiesHigher education lecturer73,804
Wanda SykesMarketingMarketing executive70,777
Gerard ButlerLawLawyer65,000
John LegendEnglish, African American literatureWriter56,786
Issa RaeAfrican and African-American studiesBroadcast journalist51,025

As a medical graduate and an officially licensed physician for a few years, it was estimated that American actor and comedian Ken Jeong would be earning £157,646 a year now if he chose to pursue his medical career. American actress Mayim Bialik, graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA, ranked second as the celebrity who would earn the most with university degrees (£134,147). Rapper 2 Chainz, in third place, would be earning approximately £86,414 as a clinical psychologist in the US based on his degree in Psychology. 

Data comissioned by https://www.rebootonline.com/

MORE LIKE THIS: What my 26 year old self would say to me in 2016, Ways That We Can Slow Our Brains Down In A Fast-Paced Society | The Process, Data Reveals The Funniest Star Sign Of All Time, Star Sign Stereotypes

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8 Barbara Walters Quotes We Can Bring Into The New Year

I am currently watching Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper’s New Years’ Eve show on CNN and my mother is currently in tears because this is the first time she heard of Christine McVie’s passing because she WAS Fleetwood Mac. She is currently embracing our dogs, in tears.

As most of us know, Barbara Walters passed on December 30, 2022. She was an iconic journalist. She was everything I wanted to be in a journalist.

Without further ado, here are Barbara Walters quotes that we can bring into 2023:

  1. “One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.”
  2. “First of all, the Jewish religion has a great deal in common with the Christian religion because, as Rabbi Gillman points out in the show, Christianity is based on Judaism. Christ was Jewish.”
  3. “Although I myself don’t go to church or synagogue, I do, whether it’s superstition or whatever, pray every time I get on a plane. I just automatically do it. I say the same thing every time.”
  4. “Wait for those unguarded moments. Relax the mood and, like the child dropping off to sleep, the subject often reveals his truest self.”
  5. “It would be nice to feel that we are a better world, a world of more compassion and a world of more humanity, and to believe in the basic goodness of man.”
  6. “Don’t confuse being stimulating with being blunt.”
  7. “Success can make you go one of two ways. It can make you a prima donna – or it can smooth the edges, take away the insecurities, let the nice things come out.”
  8. “A man cannot be made comfortable without his own approval.”

Barbara was a trailblazer for every woman in journalism. She’s interviewed the most famous public figures like Katherine Hepburn, the head terrorist of Libya, and even Vladimir Putin, who lied to her face when she asked Putin the inevitable question: “have you ever had someone killed?” He said no.

Rest in Peace, Barbara, you certainly paved the way for me, as a female journalist living in the 21st century.

xoxo,

April 💕

MORE LIKE THIS: 7 Quotes By Betty White We Can Bring Into The New Year

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BLOG-MAS TUESDAY: 10 Habits You Can Start Before 2023!

This is the last Blog-mas Tuesday until next year, and this year I can honestly say I’ve been successful and consistent with it. I think those are the two words for 2023: success and consistency. Hey, consistency leads to success and vice-versa! Who would’ve thought!?

I write this at 5:30 a.m. because I woke up (earlier) from strange dreams. One portion of it was a childhood friend of mine moving away to Virginia to be with her fiancee and her 21 chihuahuas. 🫣

The night before that, I had a dream that people in my life hated me. What was worse is that I wasn’t easy on myself afterwards, nonetheless my poor mother who always has to hear about my weirdness (in both good and bad ways 😂).

I think this is the universe trying to tell me something, though. I could analyze a dream all I want and resultantly drive myself crazy, OR I could just give it to the hands of the universe.

P.S., did you know, when you talk, your voice activates a star in the universe? It’s a strange AF concept, I know, or you could interpret it as a chance to speak goodness into the universe.

Moreover, this is one of the habits you can do for yourself in 2023, or by all means, START NOW!!!

If you start now, you will gain momentum for the new year ahead. “New Years Resolutions” are kind of BS, so why not make them revolutionary!? There’s a thought.

Some habits I’m personally including are the following:

  1. Walking 6,000+ steps a day
  2. Not drinking coffee
  3. Consistently making breakfast
  4. Including macronutrients in every meal
  5. 5-10 minutes of quiet time, sans phone
  6. 8-6-9 manifestation method
  7. Going to yoga every Tuesday night
  8. Drinking a glass of water right after I wake up
  9. Going live on Instagram until it doesn’t scare you anymore
  10. Meditation

These are some ideas… what can you adopt or reframe to match your routine?

xoxo,

April 💕

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BLOG-MAS TUESDAY: Forget The Haters Because People Believe In You

“Well no matter what major you choose it’s work.”

I heard this straight-up from an “advisor” in my first year of college. She indubitably despised me. And she said this with an absent-minded smile that underlined just how awful she was and how she didn’t understand my petulant anxiety disorder.

I don’t know where she got the impression that I don’t want to “do the work,” but I can tell you she was WRONG. 🙅🏼‍♀️

Tonight I also heard “people” judge the living 💩 out of Jennifer Coolidge and it made me angry 😤. Why? Person 1 was judging her acting in “White Lotus” AND HER WEIGHT!  And person 2 called her a “thirty-year success story.”

Jennifer Coolidge was born in Boston, Massachusetts and went to Emerson College. While she was in college, she wanted to be a dramatic actress like Meryl Streep but instead became a comedic actress.

In 1999, Coolidge got her “big break” at Stifler’s Mom in American Pie. She then went on to play Paulette Bonafonte Parcelle in both Legally Blonde movies. In 2004, she played a supporting role as Fiona Montgomery alongside Hilary Duff in A Cinderella Story. Despite negative critical claims, the movie became a box office hit.

And she recently won a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in White Lotus where she quite literally stole the show by dancing to the music despite her being out of time to accept her award, which is iconic on so many levels and just so her. 

Personally, if anyone deserves an Emmy or even an Oscar, it’s her. She actually told Vanity Fair one time that she really wants to be on Broadway, but she never thought she could do it. And this was where I said to myself, “why the heck not?”

And I’m reminded of the time where I actually was sitting in a restaurant in Paris with my classmates in high school and one of my friends said to me, “you know, I used to see you in fashion but now I see you in Science and Business.” Oddly enough, I recently got accepted and I’m actually committing to my studies at an MBA program here in the states at the #1 public ivy in the US. 

There was a point in my life where I thought I couldn’t do anything because of what people thought of me. And I’m reminded of a Kate Winslet quote when she accepted her [what is called the] “British Oscar,” She said “a drama teacher told me that I’d do well if I’d settle for the fat girl parts.” And then she’s like “look at me now!” And then she went on to say, “I didn’t listen.” And that’s essentially what I did, and what Jennifer Coolidge did too. 

Just so you know, ignorance is not bliss. In fact it makes me and people like Coolidge only work harder

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BLOG-MAS TUESDAY: We Should Have Listened To Sheryl Crow Years Ago…

Picture this: it is 2005, and Sheryl Crow just came on the radio. It’s her famous “Soak Up The Sun.” We all liked it because we were a) probably conditioned to like it by society or b) we actually found it catchy. I actually fell under group b.

A stanza that we weren’t cognizant of, as second graders was the following:

I don’t have digital
I don’t have diddly squat
It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got.

You’re probably thinking, what do the last two lines mean? So I’m challenging you to think again: when was the last time you were truly grateful for something that you had, that you have always wanted?

For example, I dreamt of a closet full of stunning clothes, living in the city, and the man I have. I have all of the above now, as a 26-year-old. Golly, am I grateful, thankful, and blessed. 💖

I am already abundant 100%, and it doesn’t matter how much I have in my bank account (which, to Sheryl Crow’s lyrics is “diddly squat”). What I don’t want is to constantly be chasing the bone every day by focusing on “want, want, want.” No one ever got by in life that way.

It’s the same thing with success. If you feel successful, you are going to be successful.

That isn’t to say that you should take everything you have for granted. I make sure that I tell my boyfriend that he’s appreciated and that I’m grateful for him. Once upon a time, I craved a man like him. Now, I have him and I’m so lucky and, once again, grateful, thankful, blessed — no need for hashtags.

If you’re writing in your manifestation journal, “manically manifesting,” you’re literally chasing the bone like a dog would. No, I am NOT calling you a bitch, relax. 😂

For example, I manifested living in the city. Though I may not geographically be exactly where I wish to be right now, right now I am grateful that I live near so many stores, restaurants, and especially that grocery store with a Starbucks in it. I remember how much I wanted to be an author. Now, I have three poetry books and one of them is being turned into a movie. I remember in the beginning of the year how much I wanted clients, now I have 4 and I get to launch my first Delicious Life Experience Group Coaching program in January 2023! I remember how much I wanted to speak to people about what I do; I get to speak to aspiring authors in 2023 and I’m speaking on wellness with a new friend this month — twice.

Abundance does not come from a plethora of Starbucks coffee. According to Billie Eilish: “I got everything I wanted,” and life is only going to get better.

So, I challenge you to write down, in your little “catalogue” of yours, what are you grateful for? It’s almost 2023, so you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished and happened for the greater good.

xoxo,

April 💕

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Star Sign Stereotypes

“Each sign in the Zodiac is an entire universe of traits and characteristics. Every sun sign has their likes and dislikes, their gifts and disadvantages, powerful traits and weaker personality spots. Nobody is wholly superior, nobody is inferior, and there is not one sign that’s better or worse than the others. We’re all equal – yet diverse. With astrology being more accessible than ever, now is a good moment to pull back from lazy character assassination, and focus on the positive rather than the negative.” – Inbaal Honigman 

Aries – you’re constantly angry 

As a fire sign, Aries are known for their explosive tempers and highly successful profiles. Yet there are a few common misconceptions about this passionate and excitable sign. Aries are often perceived as being constantly angry – but is there any truth to this? Astrology expert Inbaal thinks: 

“Aries are ruled by the red planet Mars, planet of sex and war. Therefore, all Aries emotions are big. Their enthusiasm is bombastic. Their joy is unparalleled. Similarly, their rage can move mountains. Thankfully, Aries can only sustain such grand emotions for a short while. So if an Aries is angry, they won’t stay angry for long. Soon, they simmer down and go back to being their playful selves.”

Myth: Aries are constantly angry. 

Truth: An Aries is joyous and playful, if they do become angry – it won’t be for too long. 

Taurus – you’re lazy 

Like all zodiac signs, not every quality associated with Taureans is positive. One of the more common Taurus misconceptions stems from the idea that they are apathetic and lazy. But how true is this? 

Taurus is an Earth sign, which is the most stable element. This is why they don’t run before they can walk, and don’t keep busy for the sake of being in motion. Not fans of taking risks, a Taurus will make sure there’s a new job lined up before they leave an old job. They love to take a rest and replenish their resources, and they’ll get up again if anything is needed. A Taurus will go out of their way for friends and loved ones, and will be the first to volunteer if anything needs doing.”

Myth: Taureans are lazy. 

Truth: Taureans are cautious, and will go out of their way to assist others. 

Gemini – you’re two faced

Ah, the age-old trope of the two-faced gemini. Being one of the most misunderstood signs of the Zodiac, expert Inbaal hopes to dispel these harsh stereotypes of Gemini’s: 

“Gemini is represented by the symbol of the twins, which illustrates their dual personality. A Gemini can see both sides of the argument, and can be both for and against multiple important issues. When they agree with one side, and then agree with the exact opposite side, it doesn’t look great – but they listen and accept all points of view. Gemini is also the one sign that can be in love with two people at once, have two different friend circles, and more than one favorite color, favorite dish or favorite season.”

Myth: Geminis are two-faced.

Truth: Gemini’s see both sides of the argument.

Cancer – you’re too emotional 

Cancers are often regarded as being an overly emotional sign. The strong emotions of Cancers make them tender, sentimental and nostalgic which means that they are often swept away by love – falling hard and fast. So, what does the expert have to say about cancers? Are they truly as emotional as they are made out to be? 

Cancer is a Water sign, and like other Waters, they live and die by their emotions. They feel things deeply, for themselves, but mostly for others. The sign of Cancer is all about the family. They love having everyone in their living room, blood relations, good friends who are ‘like family’ and a few strangers because why not. Cancer will stay on great terms with the ex-mother-in-law because they never divorced her, only her son. Cancerians have a great depth of emotion, both in joy and in sorrow, and can hold the space for you to safely express your own emotions, too.”

Myth: Cancers are too emotional. 

Truth: Cancers are great listeners and are not just invested in their own emotions.  

Leo – you’re egotistical 

As a fire sign symbolized by the lion, Leo’s are known for exuding confidence and having a tendency of being courageous and tough. Since Leo’s love being the centre of attention, this can often be perceived as arrogance, and criticized for being self-centered. Yet, is this stereotype really all that accurate? 

“Leo loves success. The sign of Leo is ruled by the sun, and is therefore bright, visible, and larger than life. They try their hand at anything, and truly believe there’s no such thing as impossible, for them but also for you. A little known fact about Leos, is that their love for success extends to everyone else, too. They make great teachers because they want their pupils to succeed. They’re wonderful agents, mentors and advocates, because when they see someone they trained, find the success they deserve, the Leo will feel a sense of satisfaction as if they’ve achieved it themselves.”

Myth: Leos are egotistical.

Truth: Leo’s have a love for success that also extends to everyone else.

Virgo – you’re a perfectionist 

One of Virgo’s most misunderstood traits is their highly critical, ‘perfectionist’ character.. But is paying such close attention to details really such a bad thing? Our expert dispels this common stereotype: 

“Virgo likes to think first and act second. Instead of jumping on every opportunity, they’ll take a minute to see if this opportunity truly serves their higher purpose, or if it’s just a distraction. They’ll wash their hands properly before handling food, so that there’s no risk of infection. Their true gift is the thinking, not the washing, and they apply it to anything. A Virgo won’t fuss for the sake of fussing, and they do love to relax as well, but if something needs doing, they’d rather do it now.” 

Myth: Virgos are perfectionists 

Truth: Virgos are not perfectionists, they are simply methodical in the way they approach things. 

Libras – you’re indecisive

Represented by the scales, Libras are associated with balance and are favored as being excellent conflict resolvers. But it’s not all rosy for Libras; as with all zodiac signs, there are a few unfavorable traits and stereotypes associated with this particular air sign; a libra’s indecisiveness is a trope that they cannot seem to shake. 

Libra, like other dual signs, is happy to listen to both sides of the argument. They pay attention to ‘he said / she said’ situations and they know that every opinion has some value and a grain of truth in it. But they refuse to be the judge. If you make them pick sides, they will push right back, reminding you that tomorrow you’ll kiss and make up, and the Libra still wants to be friends with both parties. Librans understand human nature and how fickle it can be, and they don’t want to commit to one specific line or another, because they believe that people change, and life changes.”

Myth: Libras are indecisive

Truth: Libras are not indecisive, instead they understand the duality of life. 

Scorpio – you’re jealous 

Poor Scorpios, they really do get a lot of bad press. As passionate individuals with intense personalities, Scorpios are often misconstrued as being jealous and controlling. So, what does Inbaal have to say about Scorpio’s? 

“Scorpio is one of the only signs that have a traditional ruling planet, and a modern ruling planet, which makes them complex. Their traditional ruler is Mars, planet of sex and war, and so Scorpio emotions are broad, fiery and passionate. Scorpio’s modern ruler is Pluto, planet of death and rebirth, which is why they’re capable of personal reinvention. A sign this perplexing will be easily misunderstood, but it’s important to remember that Scorpios don’t have a selfish bone in their bodies, and are actually quite self-sacrificing. Their complexity is harder on them than it is on those around them.”

Myth: Scorpios are jealous. 

Truth: Scorpios are passionate, but also selfless. 

Sagittarius – you’re unreliable

As a fire sign, Sagittarians often seek out adventure – but this comes with the negative connotations of being ‘flaky’ or ‘flighty’. So, how unreliable are Sagittarians according to Inbaal? 

“Sagittarians love adventure. They love not knowing where their next meal comes from. They love flying by the seat of their pants. A Sagittarius always has a valid passport in their drawer, and a folded up £20 note in a secret pocket, just in case. The dislike that they have for institutions, long meetings and pointless rituals is only natural, considering their fondness for constant stimulation. They like for life to be colorful, noisy and hilarious, and if you can’t match their energy, they won’t force you to.”

Myth: Sagittarians are unreliable. 

Truth: Sagittarians are adventurous. 

Capricorn – you’re work-obsessed

Capricorn is an earth sign ruled by Saturn, and is often associated with being hardworking, ambitious and responsible. Whilst these are technically positive traits, a Capricorn’s persistent drive for success can make them appear hard and cold-hearted. So, Are Capricorns truly as work-obsessed and stubborn as they are made out to be? Inbaal says: 

“Capricorn is a hardworking sign, and they put 100% effort into anything they do. They focus hard on a job at hand when it’s work. A dedicated, practical sign, a Capricorn puts just as much passion into relaxing, if it’s scheduled in the diary properly. Whether the mission is fun or challenging, the Capricorn will approach it with the same ‘can do’ attitude.”

Myth: Capricorns are work-obsessed.

Truth: Capricorns are hardworking, but put just as much passion into relaxing.

Aquarius – you’re anti-social 

As an air sign, Aquarians are big thinkers and seek out logical solutions to problems. Yet, one of the biggest myths surrounding Aquarians is that they are too antisocial and detached. Yet in reality it is much the opposite, since Inbaal says: 

“Aquarius is probably the most idealistic of the Zodiac. Aquarians are humanitarian, committed to justice and social causes, and that can sometimes take over their lives. They can form loving and fulfilling relationships with other people, and can even thrive in groups, but if they see an injustice, they rush to fix it. The truth of the matter is, Aquarians place humanity above anything else.”

Myth: Aquarians are anti-social. 

Truth: Aquarians place humanity above anything else. 

Pisces – you’re too naive 

Pisces is often disregarded as a naive and airy water sign, they can be criticized as not being able to stand on their own two feet. Yet, astrology expert Inbaal thinks that being a dreamer is not a negative trait: 

“Pisces are dreamers and proud of it. They create fantasy worlds as artists, creatives, writers and painters. They love working in the caring industries as nurses, psychotherapists and healers, and even in those careers, their special gift is creating alternate realities for their patients. A pisces will share their optimism and uplift those around them, giving them hope, and therefore strength.” 

Myth: Pisces are too naive.

Truth: Pisces are optimistic dreamers and will uplift those around them.

Data commissioned by https://www.psychicworld.com/

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What my 26 year old self would say to me in 2016

I recently saw an article about Selena Gomez and her new documentary My Mind and Me. Though I have yet to see the documentary and really connect with the actress and producer, I’ve always had some sort of connection with her since Wizards of Waverly Place premiered in 2007. As the Disney Channel started to not align with me anymore I still heard and read about Selena Gomez in fan magazines and on E!. She became mostly known as “Justin Bieber’s girlfriend” to me, which, looking back on it, is a terrible thing to associate her with (no offense to Justin Bieber). It’s mainly terrible because no woman, any female-identifying individual should be primarily known as “so-and-so’s girlfriend/wife.”

Another example is Giselle Bundchen, Tom Brady’s now-ex-wife. When I broke out into the modeling industry at 14 years old, (fun fact, I was a model and starved myself in the process), my mom told me about Giselle’s “discovery story.” She was discovered in her hometown in Brazil when she was selling ice cream. She was mainly known to the media, nonetheless the public eye, as “Victoria’s Secret Model who married Tom Brady.”

Now, what do these high-profile celebrities have to do with me in 2016? In 2016, I got out of a terrible relationship that was insidiously controlling. I remember when the guy and I were dating, someone had asked me at a college party, “are you so-and-so’s girlfriend?” But that’s just an addendum to the story. In the last few months into that relationship, I felt more or less like a beard that just had to be maintained, until I was thankfully and metaphorically “shaved off.” I would give that 20-year-old a huge hug and tell her the following:

“Listen, you really do have your entire life in front of you. Use it to every part of your advantage. You’re only at the beginning of the golden decade. And believe me when I say that MS was not the ‘love of your life.’ In fact, you’ll meet him when you’re 25. As far as who you are, you’re a writer. Own it. You’re blog is internationally known, and according to high-profile recruiters, you exude confidence. You are more confident than you ever have been, or least tricked yourself into thinking. One day, you will be done with being the reporter, and be on the other side of an interview. And who knows? One of your books might just be turned into a movie!”

I’d be lying if I said that this post did not make me muster up a ton of courage and even make me shed two tears. However, it’s like The Wizard of Oz. Each one member of that quad, the lion, the scarecrow, the tin man, and Dorothy all had their powers all along. In fact, Dorothy was given those ruby slippers just to make her feel confident.

20-year-old April, and for any 20-year-old reading this, this one is for you. Enjoy this song, an oldie but a goodie.

Happy six years of this blog. 🥳

xoxox,

April 💕

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Mastering Productivity

Productivity is like visiting another country, or at least mastering a new language. You must read up, know the “hacks” for easy traveling, and the “hacks” to having a beneficial experience, even if you’re in another country for just a few days. I remember when I visited Southern France; I got pointed and laughed at by a clique of French natives because I was trying to explain to the food vendor that I wanted a pizza and not a panini. It did not help that I did not know a word of French. Talk about an “Emily in Paris” moment!

Though I am not fluent in French (yet), I strive to learn at least 6-7 languages like my new accountability advisor, best-selling author Alejandra Marques. Also, I want to focus more on my writing because, well, I’m a writer! As far as nutrition school went, it was more of an “oops” than a “what if I didn’t try?” I tried to keep my Spanish double major when I transferred to RWU, but it just did not work out because I went a semester without speaking the language. That was more of a “what if?” However, I have my entire life to learn languages. Languages are beautiful and they are stunning, more importantly, they are fun.

Adaptability and intelligence are amazing concepts of the brain. You need them both to master a language and to master productivity. I could write a whole list down of all the things I would just die to do, besides worry about my diabetes. I’m not going to spend three months being sick, physically and mentally. I’m not going to worry about what my A1C could possibly be on a daily basis. Diabetes is NOT a hobby. Diabetes does NOT define me. Let’s be real, I’ll sure as hell have more energy than being bogged down by limiting beliefs because I’m considered “ill.”

Kings, queens, and those in-between, today is the day I no longer make diabetes a full-time job.

What would you do if you had mastered productivity? Don’t forget to reward yourself each week if not every day.

Don’t spend the rest of 2022 in a state of “what if?”

xoxo,

April 💕

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10 Dorothy Day Quotes For Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

I know I’ve been MIA on the blog recently and I am sorrrryyyy. But I have been working and doing some rearrangements and rebranding to my business, “Brownies For Breakfast.” I’ve come to the realization that I love a good cup of coffee and, of course, writing. I used to think of writing as something that made me sad. But in fact, storytelling is my favorite thing to do, especially on social media. Why not combine the two!? It’s a sad fact of life when you’ve painted over a perfectly carved statue in the raw. Feel free to quote me on that.

I came across an Instagram post that had the caption of a Dorothy Day quote. I remember when I tried to start a “Dorothy Day Collective” on my former alma mater’s campus. Years later, after I transferred, I talked to someone and she said “perhaps people didn’t understand what it was you were doing.” Oddly enough, Dorothy Day had the same experience when she founded the Catholic Worker Movement.

With my business and writing on the brain recently, nonetheless Dorothy Day, I compiled a list of Dorothy Day quotes that hopefully will inspire my fellow entrepreneurs to keep going.

  1. “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?”
  2. “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
  3. “Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”
  4. “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”
  5. “There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our own hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods.”
  6. “I do not know how to love God except by loving the poor. I do not know how to serve God except by serving the poor…. Here, within this great city of nine million people, we must, in this neighborhood, on this street, in this parish, regain a sense of community which is the basis for peace in the world.”
  7. “Turn off your radio. Put away your daily paper. Read one review of events a week and spend some time reading good books. They tell too of days of striving and of strife. They are of other centuries and also of our own. They make us realize that all times are perilous, that men live in a dangerous world, in peril constantly of losing or maiming soul and body. We get some sense of perspective reading such books. Renewed courage and faith and even joy to live.”
  8. “The biggest mistake sometimes is to play things very safe in this life and end up being moral failures.”
  9. “You can spend your time agonizing or organizing.”
  10. “You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it’s right.”

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Unpacking the box and taking out the itchy, fuzzy blanket of childhood

Today is the day I started to write regularly in a journal that has zero to do with manifestation. I came across a YouTube video about how one girl successfully did Virginia Woolf’s journaling routine for a month. Something I found, as professional writer, is that writing pen-to-paper is not only more aesthetically pleasing to the eye but to the brain. With that, I asked my mother to give me three words: 1) itchy 2) fuzzy and 3) blanket. She says to me, “that’s easy!” Yet, she doesn’t know what I’m going to do with these words.

I take off my blue light blockers because I’m not in front of a screen for what I challenged myself to do for an hour — maybe more. Although at the time, I was itching to to get my laptop to type, as Bartleby the Scrivener said, “I prefer not to.” Apparently, a “thing” about my head feeling “fuzzy” is that I am a lot of the times, in front of a screen. Funny how social media became a blanket of comfort to millennials and generations after.

I began to think about this Sex and the City episode where Samantha does PR for Jenny Briar’s bat mitzvah party. What I found appalling was that she– maybe it was the fact her fictional father was a famous restauranteur, or she was just assertive– buys Samantha, Carrie, and Miranda champagne. Champagne. She (Jenny Briar) looked and dressed just as I did in 7th grade. I was 13 in 7th grade, and my dad had a catering business in Massachusetts back when brochures were the way of getting people’s attention. That is, until he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, just a couple of weeks shy before Christmas.

The whole premise of that episode was to just be grateful you have/had a childhood. My childhood consisted of clothes from Limited Too, shopping sprees at the mall (not online), and video games on a GameBoy, then the Nintendo DS, and finally I remember the day my brother came home with a Wii. That was a good day because that same day, I had my friends over for what we used to call “playdates.”

Those devices haven’t been used since I would just randomly pick up a Wii remote out of boredom of not studying, or watching Pretty Little Liars, or a track meet, all in high school; or at least my sophomore year.

Towards the end of the episode, Samantha had to be the adult and intervene Jenny and her friends’ “adult talk” about the guys from NSYNC. They quite literally said “I’m going to ‘screw’ that NYSNC guy!” Except, they did not say the word “screw.”

As I uncover the blanket of what was underneath my childhood, I realize something important: you do not have to worry so much about growing up when you are 12 or 13. However when you’re 14, I highly recommend you mature before someone has the chutzpah to slap you.

I realize something else: when I was working at Dollar Tree at the beginning of the pandemic, and my manager asked me what I liked to do for fun, it dawned on me, “damn, after 4-5 years of college, I forgot what I actually like to do!”

Although my eyes are not “fuzzy” anymore after the first day of this challenge, I cleared the dust bunnies that were on top of box: my childhood. The best thing is, I needn’t rehearse this in my head for a YouTube video.

xoxo,

April 💕

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Studying Do’s And Don’ts

I am currently recovering from adrenal fatigue. I spent the last week quite literally hunched over at my desk in my bedroom (obviously not of good posture!). Now, my poor back is suffering the consequences. And my brain still feels like it’s on fire and is burning to a crisp.

This is because I just survived and actually did thrive in my first week of nutrition school. I’m taking anatomy and physiology right now in my applied nutrition program and I’ll admit it, it’s not simple. It’s not algebra. Case studies, however are so much fun, and it’s not just because I get to put my writing skills to use. I learn about the body and nutrients that do the body wonders, and I learn about things such as skin aging. Did you know that redheads supposedly don’t age? I’m lucky in that regard.

Anyway, I was sitting at my local coffee shop, trying to copy everything that was in my online textbook. What I ended up learning is that simply copying and memorizing is not a good way to study. I wound up emailing my professor, asking my biology-master friend (hi Cyrene!), then finally I watched this video on YouTube.

I’ll also admit to the fact that how I studied in high school… didn’t work in college, and in high school? I drove myself batshit crazy trying to memorize everything.

Another “do” is to follow this method: read, cover, write what you remember, repeat!

This can go for any subject whatsoever, not just anatomy.

Don’t stay up all night working. You need your beauty sleep! Do cap the studying at say, 11:00 p.m.? Maybe sooner?

With that being said, life gets busy, so do make a schedule. Don’t just say, “oh, I have some free time! I’ll work!”

But please do remember that you are human, and that life takes its twists and turns. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t finish a topic or assignment “on time.”

Do take breaks because you need some social interaction and some much needed relaxation. Don’t force yourself to work if you’re tired.

Let me know if I missed anything or if there’s anything that you and I can benefit from! I’d love to hear feedback in the comments.

xoxo,

April 💕

RELATED ARTICLES: What I Wish I Knew As A First Semester Senior, What I wish I knew before starting college, What’s In My Backpack?, Things You Will Learn In College, As Told By A Second Semester Senior, For the College Student(s) Having Doubts, Week In The Life of a Blogger/Busy College Student!

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What To Eat For GERD And Esophageal Motility Issues

I seriously love it when people ask me to read up on what to eat for their specific health concerns. The other day, my best friend asked me what to eat specifically for GERD and esophageal motility issues. So, I had a thought: what if I did somewhat of an “advice column” on specific health conditions? How fun would that be? And helpful to the public?

First of all, GERD is short for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a chronic acid reflux disorder. In a recent review by Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., a gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine, the most common foods that cause heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux and GERD) include but are not limited to fried foods, pizza, processed snacks, potato chips, tomato sauce, citrus, and bacon.

According to Healthline.com, the foods one should eat include ginger, vegetables, oatmeal, melons, bananas, apples, pears, lean meats (i.e., chicken, fish, and turkey — NOT fried), nuts, avocado, and olive oil. (May I just add that ginger is PERFECT for digestion and overall gut health, even if it’s a Ginger Tea.)

Cedars Sinai is another brilliant source to which you can access the soft food diet, if need be. But please, do consult your doctor and/or dietitian before making drastic changes.

***If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, please email me at aprilfedericonutrition@gmail.com

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FOODIE DIARIES: DIY Matcha Smoothie

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, whatever time you are reading this!

Being someone in the wellness community, you certainly learn things from others, especially social media. One post I saw in particular was an easy-to-make Matcha Smoothie!

Grab your blender and grab the following ingredients because a good Sunday reset calls for a good smoothie you can make on your own.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Vanilla protein powder (optional, but recommended)
  2. Soy milk, or whichever type of milk you prefer (if you’re diabetic, I suggest soy or almond)
  3. Matcha powder
  4. One whole banana (you can choose to freeze it, if you have time)
  5. Hemp seeds

Blend it for a little over 30 seconds to get a rich, creamy texture and you will be good to go!

Enjoy! 🍵

xoxo,

April 💕

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The Truth About ‘Overnight Success’ | How To Be

I opened up an email from renowned fitness trainer Jill Coleman today, and it was my personal dose of tough love. The quote I’m about to share with you should be, too.

“A life spent looking for shortcuts is a long road to nowhere.” –Naval

Picture this: you’re young and at the park, and you’re on the monkey bars. You jump down halfway through because your hands hurt. Then you just walk to to the other side of the obstacle. 

I don’t blame your hands for hurting, but this is the thing about all areas of life, including your health and well-being (and even manifestation!): you have to build the calluses on your hands and on the trauma you’ve experienced. You can ruminate on what you could’ve done differently all you want, but you can’t change who you were yesterday. 

View the whole Instagram post here.

There is another quote I’d like to share that Natalie Portman quoted in this video (a speech she gave to Harvard graduates); “To be or not to be is not the question; the vital question is how to be,” said by Abraham Joshua Heschel. This will certainly question your thoughts and what you’ve learned about Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is why I LOVE to question things that mildly brought me to tears (and not in a good way) (LOL). I love questioning the world around me in general, which is why I will forever be a lifelong learner.

I don’t just learn from books and podcasts, I learn from my past mistakes and I learn from the people around me — digitally or via in-person connections. That’s the beauty of the digital world, specifically social media and the ever-growing metaverse.

Let us think about how to be, shall we?

We’re taught from a young age about how to live our lives, mainly from our parents and the environment we grow up in. Let’s take Liz Murray for example. I’m continuously fascinated by her story. She is the brave young woman in the famous not-so-overnight-success-story “Homeless To Harvard.”

As a young girl, Murray lives with her sister Lisa, their drug-addicted, schizophrenic mother Jean, who has AIDS and their father Peter, also a drug addict but also has AIDS, lacks social skills, and is not conscientious. She is removed from the home and put into the care system as her father cannot take care of her.

At 15 she moves in with her mother, sister and grandfather who sexually abused her mother and her aunt. After a fight with her grandfather who resultantly hit Liz, she runs away with a girl from school named Chris who is also being abused at home.

After Jean dies of AIDS, Liz gets a ‘slap in the face’ by her mother’s death and begins her work to finish high school, which she amazingly completed in just two years. She becomes a star student and earns a scholarship to Harvard University through an essay contest sponsored by The New York Times.

In a nutshell, we can succumb to our environments as real-life victims of naturalism, or we can live our best lives. But we must put in the work to do so. It’s about building the calluses around who we used to be and the trauma we experienced and making things better for ourselves.

This, my friends, is strength and courage. I said this before and I’ll say it again, Elle Woods was right when she said, “passion is the key ingredient to the practice […] of life.”

This is also why people call me the #QuoteQueen. 👑

xoxo,

April 💕

RELATED ARTICLES: The Truth About Feeling Guilty | What Can We Do About It?, The Truth About Self-Esteem, The truth about second-guessing yourself | End of my first year of grad school reflection, The Truth About Writing Full-Time | You Have A Purpose, An Abridged Guide On What To Do If You Just Simply Don’t Know What To Do

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How To Make It Through A Cleanse With Ease

Cleansing requires a lot of motivation in order to achieve your goal as it might force you to alter your plans according to the times of cleansing or detoxification. In order to make sure that your desire to achieve your goal and your motivation to cleanse you should follow the steps mentioned below in order to overcome all the challenges that you might face:

  • Many women tend to complain that if they shop with an empty stomach they tend to eat a lot more than they actually need. Hence people who are planning to cleanse their body through the process of detoxification should buy all their groceries and other household items before they start off with their cleansing journey.
  • Every individual should come up with a schedule that highlights all the major events that are coming up. This will ensure that your process of cleansing and detoxification does not overlap or clash with the dates when you have a family gathering or event to attend.
  • In order to accomplish any goal, it is very important to have a clear set of guidelines that you should follow. It is better to plan out your guidelines and follow them rigorously. Always keep them in front of you so that you are reminded of them again and again. It will help you remain focused and determined to cleanse your body with ease.
  • Many people believe that they tend to follow their diet charts and plans if they have a company that also wants to follow the same steps. Hence it is better to find out friends from within your social circle who actively take part in such activities. It will not only give you company but see them doing the same activity would make sure feel motivated. Motivated partners or motivated groups or social circles ensure that you stay motivated as well.
  • All the vegetables and fruits that you love should be incorporated in your diet as the will help you get rid of the idea that you are not eating all the other food items that you love. It is a psychological fact that if your taste buds taste the item that you love, it sends a very positive signal and message to your brain.
  • If you are visiting your friends and family members during your cleanse journey or even before you start it, it is better to share your plans with them. They will point out all the positive aspects linked with cleansing hence you will feel more motivated to achieve your goal.  It will also ensure that you are not forced by your family or friends to eat something that goes against your diet chart or cleansing schedule. They will make sure that they respect your decision and help you achieve what you want to achieve.

Once you are on the road to success, make sure that you pen down all your memories and parts linked to the cleansing journey. It will help you relive all the moments again in future when you want to. Moreover, in future, if you plan to start the cleansing journey again it will help you to stay motivated and complete your struggle. The memories can also be shared with friends and family members, as you would be inspirational sources for them to start and achieve something out of the cleansing of their body. People tend to believe individuals who talk about results rather than other aspects that are not backed up by proofs. 

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Data Reveals The Funniest Star Sign Of All Time

With the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe festival in full swing, hundreds of thousands of people are flocking to the city to experience the melting pot of comedy, art, and performance. And, with such a wide array of talent on show, one might find themselves wondering, what is it that makes a person funny? Could it be their tone, timing, or simply a twist of fate?

The experts at PsychicWorld.com were interested in delving deeper into this question, by determining which of the zodiac signs is the funniest. Based on a list of over 100 of the top comics worldwide, PsychicWorld.com created a ranking of the most (and least!) funny star signs.

The funniest star signs

RankingSignPercentage of comedians with this sign
1Cancer14%
2Sagittarius11.8%
3Virgo10.3%
=3Taurus10.3%
5Libra8.8%
=6Gemini7.4%
=6Capricorn7.4%
=6Scorpio7.4%
9Leo6.6%
10Pisces5.9%
=11Aries5.1%
=11Aquarius5.1%
Table courtesy of PsychicWorld.com

*= signifies a joint ranking

Cancer tops the ranking, with 14% of the comedians researched belonging to this star sign. From Will Ferrell to Peter KayCancerians are known for their observational humor, which allows them to connect with their audience, says celebrity psychic and astrologer Inbaal Honigman. 

In second place comes Sagittarius, with a score of 11.8%. Alongside GeminiSagittarians are ‘​​free spirits, unencumbered by social norms, and they’re caustic in their humour’, according to Honigman. Favorite Sagittarians include Sarah Silverman and Richard Pryor, who are known for weaving their own life experiences into their standup routines.

Virgo and Taurus make up joint third place, each making up 10.3% of the comics studied. Like Cancer, these signs love to observe, as shown by the quick-witted Virgo Sue Perkins, and king of the sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld, who is a Taurus.

When it comes to the signs at the bottom of the table, Aries and Aquarius take a joint score of just 5.1% each. But, Honigman is quick to remind us: ‘Aquarius isn’t un-funny, they’re just very, very subtle. Aquarians are funny in a quiet, deadpan, sarcastic way. They’re a very clever sign, and clever people are very funny, but in a way which is understood by other clever people.’

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The Secret To Manifesting With An Abundance Mindset

BREAKING NEWS: If it’s possible for them, it’s certainly possible for you.

I was on a mini-coaching call with someone I befriended on Instagram (hi Samantha!). Samantha is a money mindset coach. I must tell you that I broke through my limiting beliefs surrounding money and finances, no matter how broke I am right now. I know that financial abundance is coming my way, and I manifest that it comes to me with ease, as we speak and as I write.

Here’s some tips I can give you right now to manifest anything that you want with an abundance mindset:

  1. Decide how you WANT to feel around [insert desire here]. Do you feel blissful? Do you feel relaxed and at ease?
  2. Replace your old belief. For example, mine surrounding money was “other people are more well off than I am,” which I switched to “I am better off than I used to be.”
  3. Always look for evidence of your new beliefs.

The new belief that Samantha and I came up with is: If it’s possible for others, it is possible for me. For example, I see every day in the Facebook groups that I’m a part of and on Instagram about coaches who make 6-figures. I had to ask myself, what’s stopping me from thinking I deserve that, too? This is why you continuously see people coming out with autobiographies about how they went from nothing to something bigger than they could’ve imagined at such-and-such an age when they were struggling.

All I know, for real, is to acknowledge the resistance in my brain surrounding the fact that I can and will make 6-figures one day. I forgive that for ever happening, especially the tension it was producing in my head. I’ve been told all my life, that I could do anything I set my mind to. And guess what? So can you, my dear. 😊

Also, if you have an hour, I recommend listening to this discussion with Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Remember, you’re amazing and full of unlimited potential! ✨

xoxo,

April 💕

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Ways That We Can Slow Our Brains Down In A Fast-Paced Society | The Process

Mindfulness is key, and it’s been prevalent for quite some time now that the world has succumbed to basically the speed of light. We are always looking at social media right when we wake up, just in case we missed the latest gossip on people we don’t even know personally (e.g., celebrities). It’s so easy to then go from one thing to the next. Although it’s been proven that we have over a billion thoughts a day, it’s important to think about ourselves — what do we need to live and be throughout the day? Notice how I did not use the word “survive.”

Slow mornings are very important, even for our gut health. It’s like I keep telling you guys on YouTube and the podcast, your gut is second to the brain. (Also there’s exciting news I’m going to share with you folx very, very soon and I’m stoked!) I will admit, and I’m using myself as an example here, that I got a little too excited about this news, and my brain just went from “ooh!” to “what if I did this!?” to “I can’t wait to see the results of this!”

It’s perfectly okay to get excited about something, just as long as you’re taking the time to enjoy the process. I remember in eighth grade, there was this game that was quite literally called “the game.” (You’re probably thinking, “damn it, April! You made me lose the game!”) Now that I’m older and more mindful and intuitive, I kind of compare “the game” to “the process.”

According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of “process” is as follows:  a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result.

We often see on motivational social media posts (as opposed to memes), that say “trust the process.” I’ve been seeing those so much recently, which I think is my own personal sign to not think about the process and how fast you’re going to get from point A to Z. You will have a set masterplan, (refer to my last blog post for my 4 C’s Methodology) and you will co-create and trust the universe and/or God to do the rest. This is the process.

Moreover, here are a couple of ways to slow down your mind:

1) journal

2) EFT tapping

3) affirm to yourself “there’s no need to rush.”

4) drink some tea or lemon water

5) make a list

6) exercise (yoga especially helps)

7) read a book that isn’t educational (and not from Audible — as much as I love it!!)

8) deep breathing

9) meditation

10) do something artsy

xoxo,

April 💕

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A Conversation With My Future Self | Perfecting Your Self-Image

I listened recently to Tonya Leigh’s latest podcast episode about having a conversation with “your future self,” and I have to say, I’m feeling more motivated than ever to produce content and to just live. I tapped into my 90-year-old self (I’m only 26, but you can still do this), and I asked her “what can I do to live life with no regrets?” She responded, “you can go after everything you ever wanted because you can do anything you set your mind to.” And then she said, “right now, at 7:00 a.m., you can write a blog post that will inspire others because you haven’t written a post since last week.”

She said also, “one day you are going to save the world from diabetes and diabetic keto acidosis, and you’re going to have your own practice to show for it. You’ll be on the cover(s) of magazine(s) and you’ll be the one to be on the other side of the interview as opposed to conducting the interviews. Not to mention, you’ll be an NYT best-selling author.”

This goes into my new 4 C’s Methodology: Contemplate, Create, Consistency, Clarity.

💭Contemplate: What kind of life do you WANT to lead? Even with a diabetes diagnosis? This is possible, even when you’re on insulin.

🎨Create: Create a masterplan of how exactly you are going to achieve this attainable lifestyle.

🏃🏼‍♀️Consistency: After you develop your brilliant plan, be consistent with allll the good habits. (e.g., working out, eating healthy, and self care)

💡Clarity: The result? A new, developed, aspect on life. 

So, I invite you to ask yourself the following questions:

1.) What can I do to improve my life now? (There’s always room for improvement.)

2.) What do I need to do to take action?

3.) What do I need to ask my future self, regardless of age?

I invite you to also script your thoughts on these questions and go allll out. If your future self is no longer an alcoholic, then script that. If your future self reversed diabetes, write that down. If your future self is somewhere in the Pacific or living on the beach in Maine, create that for yourself.

Another secret here is to trust the process and it will all unfold for you.

Also, enjoy this YouTube video of me talking to my fourteen-year-old self. This also goes to show that regardless of the trauma you’ve been through, you’re worthy of a fantastic life beyond your wildest dreams. Make those dreams a reality. For example, I had a dream I won an Academy Award wearing a green dress. I’m going to do that today (probably not with a heavy statue in my hand, but stranger things have happened) but I will wear that exact green dress.

Let me know in the comments what your future self said to you! I’m curious!

xoxo,

April 💕

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CHRONIC DIARIES: Dealing With Trauma

I hold a lot of trauma, and it stems from past romantic relationships, toxic friendships, family members, bullies, and even public school teachers.

Trauma can often make you wonder if you were made to live a good life. Spoiler alert: you are made to live a good life, regardless of what you’ve been through. I was on a coaching call with my friend Katarina this morning, and I had basically summed up my entire life story, which at this point if it were a memoir, it’d be titled 180 Degrees because of how many “180’s” I’ve taken in my 26 years of life. She told me I was a fantastic storyteller and I believed her. I am a good storyteller, and I know I can write one, too.

An example of a “180” is transferring colleges. I knew I was unhappy at my previous college for the longest time and I stayed for my friends and my best friend. That is, until I went through what I wrote in my most popular blog post. Some of the trauma I went through there was 1) my ex boyfriend, who made me lose my ability to trust men altogether. 2) I was constantly being talked down to by adults, except for the ones who actually believed in me. I felt like I couldn’t be me.

Another example of a “180” that barely talk about is me transferring high schools. I transferred high schools because I was severely mocked and bullied. Don’t even get me started on my volleyball “team.” Then I got the miraculous call on January 3, 2012, that I’d be starting at my private high school on January 19. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t produce fear-induced tears the night before. But I did because I was scared I was in to be bullied relentlessly once again. There were times where I felt/was mocked, but I said to myself, “this behavior was at [insert town here]. I know how to handle it now.”

It’s a matter of saying, “this isn’t working, I’m going after what I deserve.”

I’m not here to rant, I only provided examples without going into the nitty-gritty details of what exactly I went through. And yes, I will put this all into a memoir someday. In fact, I might just put some of it into my podcast. #PodcastTuesdays

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder, “what/who can you actually make peace with?” I remember writing Coming to Peace With Your Past|A Decade in Review. I realize now that post barely covered the bare minimum of what I went through in a single decade. But as I wrote that sentence, I can’t help but realize now, being hard on yourself is a trauma response. But here’s the thing: I’m already taking steps to a better life, and I have been since I was 15. So, I’m continuing to do it, and I will do it to the better of my ability.

There is no shame in being vulnerable. And there is certainly no shame in being honest. I allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me, rather than terrify me. This was something I had written the day I had started this blog and I’m still in awe of how much it’s grown.

RELATED BLOG POSTS: CHRONIC DIARIES: How I Manage My Anxiety Day-to-Day; Confessions of a Diabetic: Healthcare Is A Human Right; Confessions Of A Diabetic: I’m Happier Than I’ve Ever Been Since My Diagnosis

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CHRONIC DIARIES: How I Manage My Anxiety Day-to-Day

I remember after attending a conference in Providence, I had gone to UNO’S with my classmates. Suddenly, I had developed a massive panic attack. I had absolutely no idea how to deal with it, then, other than “deep breathing.” I knew that wasn’t enough for someone like me, who has had an acute anxiety disorder basically since I was born. But I can tell you that I have more effective coping mechanisms than I ever did, even when I had worked with a cognitive therapist.

I wrote 2020: the year people will (hopefully) understand mental health and let me tell you, it took a pandemic just for people to understand what dealing with mental health is like. I’m not undermining anything that people went through during lockdown, but this was where my mindset was in early 2020. I had utter fear of my future and the USA’s future. On top of that, I was finishing college and I was dealing with quite the alcohol addiction.

Now, here I am, coming face to face with my anxiety disorder once and for all. I’ll give you one example of an anxiety trigger of mine: finances. I had gone through this money-mindset transformation stage with Brooke Ritchie during “Path to Freedom” and one of the ways to get out of our limiting beliefs about attaining money was through tapping. (No, I am not referring to sex.)

  1. Tapping

EFT Tapping is essentially, according to HealthLine.com an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure.” It’s been used for people who’ve dealt with anxiety and PTSD.

I’ll link to Brad Yates’ most popular video here, to give you a sense. But once you start doing it, there’s no going back. Tapping uses the fingertips to quite literally “tap” the focal energy points. The most common set-up for a tap session is “Even though I [insert something negative that you’re trying to cure here] I choose to completely love and accept myself.”

2. Metaphorical Rinsing Into The Roots

If you’re standing up, or have the opportunity to stand up, plant your feet firmly on the ground and say “I let go of [whatever is triggering you]” and imagine your body is rinsing that negative anxiety down through the bottom of your feet and into “roots.” It’s as if you’re watering a tree! In this case, you are the tree that doesn’t wilt just because it feels anxious.

Make these non-negotiables for you, as they’ve been for me. You will get your stride back, and you will be motivated once again.

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How To Activate Your Goddess Potential Part 2: Believing You Are Worthy

When I was a junior in high school and going through bouts of depression, my mom had sent me a quote by someone whom I cannot remember now. But the quote itself said, “My favorite Disney character? Daisy Duck. Because she goes after what she wants and deserves.”

I was on a call two days ago with a woman who was trying to recruit me for a coaching program. As she was asking me questions, she asked me what it is I wanted to do with these degrees I planned on getting in the future (masters and eventually doctorate). I told her straight up, “to get credibility in what I do.” That is actually the first time I was stopped to think that maybe I was going for them for the wrong reason — to have myself go into debt that was not smart, to have control over basically no outcome and to just work for someone else for the rest of my life. I knew I did not want that. Some people pursue an advanced degree because they want accelerate in their career, which is the right reason. The “science” behind the fact that I wanted to pursue something “science-y” just to prove to my freshman-year-of-college self that she CAN “do” science — not a good reason. Also, I convinced myself that my writing career was going nowhere — not true. I wouldn’t be continuing this blog and this series if I still believed it [my writing career] was going nowhere.

Yesterday I made the mistake of putting my size-8-foot in my mouth by announcing I was, in fact, going to [insert ivy league school here] to rekindle my master’s degree. That can’t happen for another year, unfortunately because I then realized, “there’s no way I can afford it right now.” However, if I didn’t believe that I was worthy of a possible degree at [insert ivy league school here] or any of them for that matter, would I have gone for it? I talked to a good friend of mine (hi Katarina!) and she told me that setbacks are good for redirection. Slowly but surely, I am reprogramming my mind to thinking that I am in fact worthy of any degree, even if I choose to go back to Emerson to pursue an MFA instead of finishing the MA. Katarina then asked me, “what are you hoping to gain?” And I told her, I gained this particular mindset.

So, my point is, if you’ve always wanted to do something but never believed you were worthy of it (e.g., a law degree, a PhD, or any advanced degree, anything at all!) Another fact is, you don’t necessarily need one degree on top of another just to feel worthy or credible. This woman who I spoke to two days ago made me realize that, and it almost brought me to tears because it took me God knows how long to realize that I am in fact, credible as is, as a coach, as a writer, as anything at all. I am worthy, and so are you, my dear, regardless of how you identify.

If you missed the previous blog post, read it here. And keep a lookout for a brand new podcast episode every Tuesday and Thursday!

xoxo,

April 💕

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Get Out Of Defense Mode And Into Beast Mode

More often than not, we are clouded by limiting beliefs. However, we need not to be. For example, when I was in Punch Drunk Soul’s Path to Freedom coaching program, we had weekly meetings with Brooke Ritchie (who is a real life GODDESS!) who changed our limiting beliefs around money.

I’m not going into my money story, but I’ll tell you I’ve never had a strong relationship with the value of dollar. Some people have the belief that money is only accessible if you are rich — not totally true. Anyone can be rich, it’s just a matter of getting out of the defense mode and actually working toward your goals.

Let me give you another example. I’m often compared to Miss Carrie Bradshaw, who is coined as the “ultimate single gal,” until she marries Mr. Big (RIP — IYKYK). This is where I get personal (and a tad sappy). I met my boyfriend of one year on Bumble last summer. Oddly enough, it was shortly after I wrote Dear Future Husband… If I Ever Meet You. When I introduced him to the blog, (which is when I know it’s real), he read that particular post… a couple of times. Before that, I had my view that relationships were more physical than emotional, and even more so that I didn’t even deserve love. And Mark kept his word that he’d show me what an emotional relationship is like and I’ve never been happier to be so in love.

But why did I think that relationships were supposed to be more physical rather than emotional? That was purely based on a past experience with an ex who didn’t find me “sexually attractive,” despite dating for over a year. Since then, I was in “defense mode” and afraid of true love and especially afraid of getting severely emotionally battered and broken. And I need not to be that way anymore.

Walking on the moon seemed impossible, yet it was done anyway. Even the top chess player in the world had the slightest thought that they would lose a match, but they immediately got out of defense mode and into beast mode and ultimately won their game. Do you think there are billionaires out there who were born rich? Yes and no. But some had to climb their way to the top, despite what their limiting beliefs were about money. That’s why you find all of these books about people who started from the bottom and became who they are today.

Go make it happen. Do it scared you-know-what-less and go for it. Don’t listen to what people think you should do based on their limiting beliefs. Those aren’t yours to take on and make your own. NO.

xoxo,

April 💕

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“I hate my thighs”

As Charlotte York once said, “I hate my thighs.” In the same episode, she said “fruit has a lot of carbs.” When did carbohydrates get such a bad rep, in the first place?

Moreover, in 2017, I looked at a picture of myself visiting Central Park, and I couldn’t believe how large my thighs were.

I looked at another picture of myself in Bristol in 2018. I remember how large my thighs were and the lower half of my stomach, as well. Ironically, I was seeing a personal trainer. However, I couldn’t keep my workout routine consistent outside of training. I wasn’t putting in the time because I thought I didn’t have the time. My excuse was “I have homework,” which was true! But still, consistency is key. 🔑

I used to love my curves a year ago, but I can’t help but love them even more now that I’m working out consistently and eating clean. I love my thighs now more than ever, and I’m only going to love them even more as they get more toned and muscular.

When you’re investing in something, too, you must stay consistent with it. I held off on making YouTube videos because I wasn’t too too sure of what I was doing with my life.

Being a nutrition coach, it’s my job to show up for my clients and followers. It’s also my job to make sure my clients grow to love themselves, too.

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You’re Not A Failure, Everyone Starts Out As A Novice

I’ve never told anyone this because this is still roughly fresh in my mind, but I didn’t completely graduate with my masters degree… yet.

My diabetes diagnosis became a day job for me, as opposed to my schoolwork. I had to take three incomplete courses because of it and couldn’t handle any of them. I wound up withdrawing from Emerson.

ABBA sang it best, “Mamma Mia! Here I go again!” If you know me, you know I intend to go back and forth between what it is I want to do. This morning I felt so drained because I thought I wanted to go back to being a writer. Why do that when I committed to getting my MSAN – Dietetics at UNE? Emmett from “Legally Blonde” said it best to Elle when he said, “what if you’re trying to be someone you are? The hell with Callahan, stay.” And that’s what I say to myself: “the hell with imposter syndrome.”

Then Professor Stromwell said to Elle in the beauty salon, “if you’re going to let one stupid prick [in my case, imposter syndrome] ruin your life, you’re not the girl I thought you were!”

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t putting my all into this blog either, even after I monetized it. (After six years, I thought it was time.)

I must’ve said it a hundred times in the 150 blog posts that I’ve made, but imposter syndrome really is a huge b**ch. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of it after “graduation.” But that amazing feeling you get after a really intense spinning class, or any workout, is the same feeling one gets after helping someone accomplish their goals. I became a nutrition coach, and am in the process of getting my nutritionist certificate and I get to have my OWN PRACTICE via Therapute! How amazing is that!?

Here’s the thing, and the overall message of this post: how are you going to help others if you don’t feel good about yourself? Think about it. Even my therapist seldom follows his own advice. Even when I first started my pharmacy technician job, I felt like a failure because I had this one pharmacist tell me I ostensibly “didn’t listen” when I hadn’t been trained in something.

When I withdrew from Emerson, I felt like the biggest failure. But why? I was doing something that was going to benefit me in the long run. Besides, I get my second chance at another master’s program in a month and I’m already so excited. 😆

I watched a Facebook live hosted by a friend from high school (hi Ali!) and she touched upon mindset around food, particularly carbs. Then she said, “imagine you’re trying to push a boulder up a really steep mountain.” Essentially, the message was that you could either give up because it’s “too hard” or “strategize.” I wish I could’ve given myself that pep talk when I was nearly failing the sciences freshman year of college.

Here’s the secret: it is with strength, mental endurance, and courage even when we don’t feel like our best selves that we carry on. Cry the tears if you must, just don’t let them drown you into a rabbit hole.

You’re not a failure. You’re a novice. Everyone starts out as a novice at first. Don’t listen to those stories about composers like Mozart who started playing a tune on the piano when he was just two years old. In a perfect world, that would be realistic. It’s not.

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Being “Mean” Has Been Out Of Style

I don’t diss people on the internet because I know I’m better than that. If you told 16-year-old April that, she would’ve dismissed you and create a subtweet. Stubborn as I may be sometimes, I’ve often had struggles with saying “no,” especially when it came to bullies’ requests. I can’t believe there was ever a time that I let people walk all over me like a doormat. There is a time, however, where you have to stand up for yourself, create boundaries, and say “I am a woman/man/non-binary/transsexual.” People will crucify you, so it seems, when you stand up for yourself and accuse you of being “rude.” People will question your boundaries and try to push them. People will question you regardless of how you identify.

But never let anyone bully you into questioning your worth.

It’s easy for people to say, “just ignore it.” No. Never say that. It doesn’t work nor help the problem, especially if it’s ongoing. What I’ve learned in my business, is to definitely set those boundaries. I sometimes can’t help but think that no one takes me seriously — not even my family. I should’ve said in my promo, “serious inquiries only!!!” It’s mind-boggling to me, how people can just scam or just bully their way through life like it’s no big deal. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t “influence” anymore. Scammers.

I could’ve done one of two things: 1) wish the worst upon them 2) wish that they could just do better and have a second chance at a better life that doesn’t involve harm to others. So, I took the advice of Ke$ha’s “Praying” and took the high road and prayed.

Two verses that I came across were the following:

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” (Psalms 143:10 NLT)

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35 NLT)

Being mean has long been out of style. We’re not in middle school anymore. It wasn’t even remotely cool, then.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Choice” by Jodi Picoult | A stunningly perfect commentary on Roe v. Wade Overturn

Content warning: Sexual Assault, Abortion

I used to avoid the news like the plague, but that’s similar to avoiding getting COVID in a worldwide pandemic, no matter how hard you try. I still know people who are getting Swine Flu after all these years.

If you’re living in the USA, you’d know that there had been a serious turn of events of Roe v. Wade. In American history, Roe v. Wade is a law that decriminalized abortion, arguing that that only criminalizing the termination of an unwonted pregnancy would be unconstitutional for women.

This blog post comes at the perfect time, when human rights are being challenged more than ever. But let’s be real, when are they not being challenged? So it seems, at least. Who better than profound author, Jodi Picoult, would provide a stunningly perfect commentary on this overturn on women’s rights. She thusly wrote an audible book called Choice, and I’m going to spoil it right now: a cisgender lawyer MALE gets pregnant, and he goes through every injustice that a cisgender, nonbinary, and transgender female goes through when they are pregnant. You’re probably thinking, that’s biologically impossible. It is impossible; this is a book we’re talking about, though. Literary commentary. The power of voice. Jodi Picoult ever so accurately depicts a lawyer named James who discovers he is, in fact, pregnant in a fictional world where no cisgender, nonbinary, nor transgender woman could get pregnant. Instead, it’s men who have to suffer the severe injustices that come with pregnancy. Unfortunately, in his state, there is nothing that medics can do about it because of the new law that overturned what is presumably Roe v. Wade.

One poignant scene, that traveled through my ears via Audible, was the scene in which James is passed up for the promotion that was promised to him months prior, but was given to his female colleague, instead. What was ironic, was that James had supposedly seen women get passed up for promotions. It reminded me of the time when my mother said that she had to go back to work just six weeks after giving birth to my older brother in 1987. “I went through every injustice a female executive went through,” said my mother over dinner.

I would argue what every woman argues on social media, “if you don’t have a uterus, you do NOT get to comment/make laws about a woman’s body.” Period. End of sentence. But here’s another argument that I make, in light of Picoult’s prominent story: imagine if it were you suffering your own consequences. As someone who worked in Title IX, I can easily argue that both men and women, regardless of how you identify, can both be victims of sexual assault and abuse, no doubt. That’s one of the reasons why I was conflicted about the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard case, while some people had stronger opinions on it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t care. I did. I’m no lawyer, but I can easily argue both sides of a case.

When it comes to pregnancy, I can say that I’ve never been pregnant. But as Jodi Picoult said wrote in Choices, “[it’s a] twenty-first century Scarlet Letter, and a man will think twice before entering his victim’s bedroom at night.”

Cisgender lawmakers, if you’re reading this, I hope you will listen to Choices and think twice about your own choices, not just based on what your political party ostensibly believes.

If you, or any one you know is a victim of sexual assault, please direct yourself or them to: https://www.rainn.org/resources and/or dial 800.656.HOPE (4673).

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Never Let Anyone Tell You That You’re Not Good Enough

“Suffering ceases to be suffering the moment it finds meaning.” — Viktor E. Frankl

It’s very, very rare that I end up in the hospital, until that fateful night, where my life changed forever, yet for the better. I’ve always been fascinated with science, and prior to my scary diagnosis, I even did research intermittent fasting and what it does to the body. It didn’t fully come to me until I was in a therapy session when I realized that my regret-free life… isn’t exactly regret-free.

Be prepared for a lot of quotes. #quotequeen

There’s this one quote by Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” When I was in high school, I was indirectly told that I wouldn’t do well at an Ivy League institution because they’re “too stressful.” I found this out days ago. Since I found out, I was furious — with a passion in my heart to finish what I started in college.

It’s almost similar to how Elle Woods proved EVERYBODY wrong after Warner told her she wasn’t smart enough for law school. We all know that Warner was full of poop. Elle ALWAYS had it in her, it just took the right people realize it (e.g., Emmett, her professors, and eventually Vivian).

What I find even more infuriating is that I let the wrong people (person) distract me in my freshman year of college. I told said person, after I had chosen to go back to chemistry, that I wanted to minor in English and History and he said, “no.” What? Why? Probably because he either a.) wanted to be better than me and b.) didn’t think I could do it.

I felt, on some level that I took “the easy way out.” But did I? No. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today nor would I have the superb communication skills to master any job.

I told my boyfriend the other day, “it’s funny how a life-altering illness can make you do a complete 180.” He told me, “I love how you’re turning things around for yourself.” THAT is the support that every girl/everyone needs in a relationship, btw, regardless how you identify.

On the topic of turning my life around, I decided to go back into healthcare, which for some reason I was oddly scared to share publicly in fear of judgment. But here’s the thing: who really gives a crap, as long as you have faith in yourself? When I shared the news that I’m going to earn my second masters degree in Applied Nutrition – Dietetics (APN), I received a mixed bag of “reviews.”

“You’re not going into publishing?”

“Work and school is hard, though.”

“What about writing?”

My responses?

I’m working on a book right now.

I’ve worked throughout my coursework at Emerson.

Writing is a part of any profession.

Yes, I am still going to write like it’s nobody’s business. It’s like Carrie Bradshaw once said, “Why is it that we only seem to believe the negative things people say about us, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary? […] Odd, but when it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?” But the truth is, I stopped caring about what people thought of my path, regardless of their “reviews.” It is like what I said in Girl Meets (Real) World, “a lion does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.”

Bottom line and moral of the story: never let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough.

I leave you with one last quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Be well, my loves. 💕

xoxo,

April

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Catch-25 | What you need to know before you turn 25

“Breakthroughs happen to people who are scared to stop trying.” — Derek Shepherd, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

I remember when I was 23, I picked up a book at Porter Square Books in Providence. It was called Such A Fun Age by Kiely Reid. Then in a blink of an eye, I turned 25. How’d that happen? I spent my 24th year immersed in grad school and working in retail, and got my first “big girl job” as a content editor. At this age (25), I found an emotionally-connected love, a coaching business, and graduated with my masters in publishing and writing. Here’s the Catch-25 though, it’s the breakthrough that comes when you’re on the cusp of a brand new year. There’s a series of lessons that you will indubitably learn by the time you hit the next age. I’m turning 26 in exactly one week (May 28) and in this moment, watching Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, I’ve never felt more grateful.

But you’re probably still wondering, what is this breakthrough? Well, my loves, the breakthrough comes in the form of a “Sex and the City” quote: “you can’t stop being who you are because you’re afraid.” I know I’ve said that in past posts, but this is especially true, since this morning was the first I’ve done yoga in two weeks… yikes! But I felt just confident enough in my new(er) yogi-abilities that I went HARD in just a simple morning yoga routine on the Yoga app. THAT is when you know you’re getting something out of it, instead of thinking, “when will this end?”

That’s another thing, you don’t just give up. Picture this: someone is carrying mass amount of weight on their back, literally. They learn, overtime, to lighten the load. One step at a time. And you will get there. You will lose your balance from time to time, but you learn to get back on track.

The funny thing is, I wish I knew this when I was 19. I had given up on a dream of becoming an oncologist. Before that, I wanted to be a lawyer with a cool chemistry background. It’s kind of a “coulda-shoulda-woulda” situation. The worst of that trio is “shoulda.” But the fact of the matter is, and this is another “catch-25,” to be who you desire to be, you have to live like her/him/them. And the trick is to not “should” yourself, but to say “I am.”

I realize this is different from previous “To the girl who is turning [insert age here]” posts. But there really aren’t any “tips” for 25. You don’t need Sponge Bob Squarepants and Patrick Star to giggle profusely at you. But hey, when life gets tough, you gotta see the positives and laugh some sh*t off!

Related Articles: For The Girl About To Turn 21 | Moving Onto 22, For the Girl About to Turn 22 | Welcome to My Jordan Year (23), Does anybody like you when you’re 23? You have to love yourself, first, What’s funnier than 24? Getting older? 25?| For the girl/boy/whomever about to turn 24.

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Imposter Syndrome After Graduation

As of May 7, 2022, I am a master of publishing and writing from Emerson College. I miss it already, but at the same time, I am ready for the next chapter of my life. The whole world is wide open and I love it. But I’m not going to lie when I say I had a prolonged moment of imposter syndrome for the last week. I felt like I didn’t deserve anything I’ve ever gotten to this point in my life. But why would that statement be true? I felt like Elle Woods when she first started law school at Harvard. The truth is, no one EVER told me I was “not smart enough for my masters degree.” Even I know that’s total B.S. even if someone were to actually say that to me.

Immediately after I got home, ate McDonald’s (yes, I can still eat that, as a diabetic), I started looking at PhD programs… as if I have any idea of what I want to be a “doctor” or “philosopher” in. Right now, as I write this, I enjoy being a philosopher of life and writing. I remember the words of the keynote speaker, Kim McLarin, “you are now masters and teachers of your field.” As I was nearly passing out of starvation central, that didn’t stop me from wondering, “my therapist was right; it was hard to complete this masters degree, but I did it.”

Then later on Sunday night, I got to thinking about all the trials and tribulations I went through in the last year alone. I had an unfortunate COVID breakthrough in October, moved to the city (which was hell on its own), and the following semester? You guessed it. Diabetes. All of these events made me feel like I didn’t deserve my masters. My therapist asked me today, “what sacrifices did you make for your masters?” And I said, “I don’t feel like I made any.” The only other thing I could say was “time.”

It’s true, I didn’t feel like I made any actual sacrifices. All I know is that I felt like I didn’t deserve a moment like I did when I crossed the stage to have my hood put on, close my eyes, and bask in the spotlight when my name was called. I felt like I deserved none of it, which is upsetting to me. I can’t help but wonder, is it a lack of validation? Or is it what I think people think of me? Do people think that getting my masters was a waste? Or do I think it was a waste? Personally, I think not. I’m almost 26 years old. I was 23 when I committed to Emerson. I was 24 when I started with unfortunate technical difficulties. And now, it’s just a matter of “what are you doing, April?”

Imposter Syndrome can stem from many forms, such as lack of empathy from people, anxiety, and trauma. A million people can have faith in you, but you have to have faith in yourself. You deserve a day in the sun. Life is not going to be “sunshine and rainbows” all the time, but life doesn’t have to suck. After all, your thoughts create your reality.

And by all means, if someone thinks you “can’t do it,” do it twice, maybe even a third, and take pictures.

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Girl Meets (Real) World

I got my cap and gown today and it made me sad. Well, it actually made anxious AF. Why? My anxiety does a good job of being a bitch and convincing me that I have no idea where I’m going. But the truth is, I have time. I will not be homeless and I will not starve. I have the biggest picture envisioned for my future and it starts now.

I wrote in my gratitude journal today, “anxiety is a huge bitch, and I conquer that bitch.” It took me a long time to be able to say that and have it click. I recently joined Punch Drunk Soul, which is a coaching program for aspiring coaches. One of the biggest “pillars,” so to speak, is “compassionate courage,” which is actually something that led me to be “badass coach of the week.” Cue the applause. 👏🏻

What’s coincidental and timely is that The Wizard of Oz was mentioned in my climate fiction class, though we were discussing the symbols of socialism in the movie compared to the short stories we were reading, I can’t help but think of the famous line, “You had the power all along my dear, you just had to realize it for yourself.” But along the way, Dorothy had a lion, a tin man, a scarecrow, and her trusty dog beside her. One thing’s for sure: Dorothy was not alone in navigating her power. And neither am I. I have a man who loves me, friends (special shout out to the 18 new friends I made last week during our Soul Sister Call!), a family (even when we fight), and countless mentors and counselors. Truth is, I really am winning at life. I don’t have to be Charlie Sheen to do so. 😜 Even on days when you don’t feel like you’re doing particularly great, there is a hope — a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just all about how you navigate the obstacles that are in said tunnel. Every morning we are greeted with an array of choices. So, I suggest you follow your own “yellow brick road.” Embrace the yellow powder that may get on your shoes. As our good friend, Forrest Gump once said, “you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes.” Life really is about the journey, not the destination. I’m realizing that now, as a soon-to-be masters graduate from Emerson College.

I was also thinking about a post I wrote after my first semester at RWU, Self-Reliance Being Put To Use: A Semester In Review . I had just taken an American Literature final and one of the authors we discussed was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Oddly enough, and again, timing is everything, in my climate fiction class someone had presented about the Solarpunk genre. One of the videos she shared prompted the question, “how can we live comfortably?” It’s not people we have to crush under our feet in order to climb the ostensible hierarchy, it’s our former selves. We undergo such much change. Without change, we can’t grow. We can’t transform.

If you’re graduating from high school, college, grad school, etc., I wish you Godspeed and don’t worry, you’ll see me navigate the “real world” on this blog. 😉 You have NOT seen the last of me!

xoxo,

April 💕

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Words And Mantras To Live By Every Day: The April Diaries Edition

I started reading Gabby Bernstein’s (well, listening to on Audible), The Universe Has Your Back. Honestly, it’s changing my life for the better, all the way down to the atoms of my being. No, I am not on any sort of hard drug. (DON’T DO DRUGS! THAT INCLUDES ALCOHOL!)

But in all seriousness, the way that Gabby phrases things to make us understand spirituality and overall mental and emotional well-being is impeccable. I began writing some of her sayings and phrases and prayers all over my weekly calendar to the point where I said this morning, “I’m going to blog about it!” Some of these are quotes, others I’ve modified to fit my own words.

  1. “Choose to be peaceful amidst chaos.”
  2. “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, ‘I’m possible!'” — Audrey Hepburn
  3. “Everything is okay.”
  4. “I am allowed to be taken care of.”
  5. “I shine bright like a diamond.”
  6. “I’m proud of the work I do with my personal growth.”
  7. “Let them eat cake.” — Marie Antoinette
  8. “I am ready to learn through love.” — Gabby Bernstein
  9. “I am determined to see with love.” — Gabby Bernstein
  10. “I am badass!”
  11. “It only gets better from here.”
  12. “The thing is, I’m actually quite calm.”
  13. “You are rising from the ashes, you magnificent bitch.”
  14. “I step back and let the universe lead the way.” — Gabby Bernstein
  15. “I am grateful. ‘Nough said.

Try using one or more of these to repeat in meditation and/or prayer every day.

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The Truth About Feeling Guilty | What Can We Do About It?

I done goofed.

Last night I made some poor judgments on what to eat and drink.

I took my low blood sugar level for granted and forgot I was diabetic. HOW DOES ONE FORGET THAT!?

I felt an overwhelming feeling of guilt. I tried talking myself out of it to the point where even I said to myself, “shut the f*** up!” I wanted to shut off my overthinking brain so badly.

The truth is, you have to forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes! I wrote in my journal last night, “but how long can I keep making that excuse?” The fact of the matter is that nobody’s perfect. I get it, mistakes can cost you. Take my once carefree attitude pre-diagnosis, for example. I know I have the power to one day reverse my diabetes. I have the power to take control over my rumination. I have the capability of reminding myself who I am. At the end of the day, or even in the morning, you still have the sun in you to rise above anything — including your regrets.

Every day is a new day. You can’t go back to yesterday. Every day has a lesson. In fact, each morning, peace arrives at your door in the form of choices. I’m telling you, it’s okay. Everything is okay. Just take the yin and yang and breathe. Seriously. Nothing is more important than the ability to breathe. Overthinking and anxiety can make you forget to breathe, sometimes.

I challenge you to write down your intentions for today. I’ll go first:

1.) Invest in happiness without spending money.

2.) Love with all my heart, but remember to be patient.

3.) Post content.

4.) Do yoga.

5.) Meditate and pray.

6.) Do homework.

Stressing myself out is not an option. It’s not an option for you, either. All it does is raise blood sugar. I’ll say it again, everything is okay.

Go and conquer your day, lovelies. 😘

xoxo,

April 💗

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Go Little Rockstar: It’s Ready, It’s Yours, You Did It

I tell this story a million times, or at least I think I do, but when I first published on The Odyssey Online, with my first two articles in the queue. Mind you, my boss at the time put all his trust in me and thought I- I was qualified to be Editor-in-Chief of my campus chapter. I took it because there wasn’t a chance I’d have that again… until now.

It’s been years since that breakthrough phone call. But as of recently, I broke through, out of my own personal “gate” to be my own boss. I remember vaguely, when I was eight years old, I told my mom I wanted to be a pop star and to perform in my very own concert. She said, “it takes a really long time.” It does. It does take a really long time. Some people wait a lifetime, like Van Gogh when he sold his first painting. I don’t know if anyone realizes, but I am a huge of Van Gogh and his background. I don’t know what led him to asylum, but I know that he and I both coped with art. Poetry for me, painting for him.

It took a really long time, but I found what I was meant to do. I rewatched Katy Bellotte’s “An Honest Video,” (again) only to be triggered by the same emotions that led me to my hospitalization in 2017. I’ll be honest when I say I nearly gave up on my purpose, due to anxiety. But it was only growth that was making my soul itch. Growth is notoriously uncomfortable.

So, little rockstar, what were you meant to do? I strongly believed I was put on this Earth for a purpose: to inspire. I’ve had publishers tell me that relentlessly. I believed them. As Katy says in the beginning of her video, “ignoring your passions is slow suicide.” She came to the conclusion in her Italian language class that she wanted to go into graphic design. She went from working at L’Oreal in social media to being her own boss at Katy Bellotte Designs.

It’s no secret that I’ve held countless jobs and internships this past year alone. I also believed that I had it all; I have a man who loves me (hi Mark!), family, friends, food to eat, and a roof over my head. I just wasn’t satisfied with my career. I knew a few years back that I was meant for more than journalism. I tried my hand at marketing– what a bust. I tried to run my own business, then COVID hit. Now, things are looking up. I’m so excited to reveal I became a trauma healing, spiritual health and wellness coach! That’s right, I chose courage over fear; faith over doubt; being present instead of brooding on the past.

I talked a bit in my last post about fearing the future. But now, I live by the mantra, “I needn’t worry about the future anymore. It’s bright, it’s here, it’s mine, I did it.”

My head has never been more clear. Go, little rockstar. Keep moving forward. 🚀

xoxo,

April 💖

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Influencers Are Leaders

“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”

– Brene Brown

Owning your story is probably the key to success. I write this post-panic attack about my fear of the future. I listen to Katy Bellotte’s podcast, “Thick & Thin,” which is literally about the thick and thins of her life that she brilliantly relates to her fans. Her latest episode was titled, “Am I on the right path?” Even though I have yet to finish it, I can say that I was put on this planet for a reason: to inspire and produce content. However, you are more than your career. I recently had a new friend text me saying that she saw my Instagram photo post-workout and she said she was got her butt out the door and hiked. I had people constantly tell me that I tend to “overshare” on social media (i.e., my mom), and this is the same person who jokingly called me a “walking HIPPA violation.” I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve very much to the point where I am what Carrie Bradshaw calls “emotionally slutty.” I also write this as I watch the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie gets recruited to model for Dolce & Gabbana. At the end of that episode they play a song that’s meant to inspire people “to be real,” as the song goes. I haven’t a clue what the song is called.

I grappled with the term, “influencer” for a little bit of time. But the truth is, the term “influencer” has a lot more to deal with than promoting products and giving out codes to your followers. Since my diabetes diagnosis (I’m sorry that it’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room, but still), I used my platform to promote awareness of the chronic illness. I’ve also been promoting spirituality without going into toxic positivity. Speaking of which, I just got an email notification about affirmations for leadership. 😜 This now begs the question, are influencers leaders? Without being cocky, I have held plenty of leadership positions. To be a leader is to empower. And the more you empower, the more you inspire people to just do. No, I am not talking about buying products with a special code. I am talking about inspiring people like I inspired my friend, Kaylee.

I recently joined a challenge to become my own BUSINESS OWNER. And one of the challenges was to make a timeline of your life. Some years I try to block out more than others. Some years I don’t remember at all (i.e., my single-digit years). But I can say that it is three days until the 5-year anniversary of ‘Cause I Still Got A Lotta Fight Left In Me | My Hospital Stay | My Mental Illness(es). Like Brene Brown said, I wrote my very own happy ending by not letting trauma drama define me.

Consider this your “big sister” hug from me. I know that I could use one from time to time.

xoxo,

April 💖

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Confessions of a Diabetic: Healthcare Is A Human Right

I hardly ever get political on this platform. But as a lifestyle blogger and influencer, it’s important to be an advocate for causes that I care about — especially when they have to do with human rights. In fact, I was once on a (very) beaten path of becoming a human rights attorney. But after many contemplations, writing and publishing is my truest path to success and overall fulfillment.

Moreover, I need to have a heart-to-heart. Yesterday (Fri., March 18 2022) I was on the phone, dialing multiple numbers, on the hunt for new, possible, and competent PCP’s whom I could actually rely on for my recent diabetes diagnosis. What’s coincidental, but also in divine timing, is that I had received a DM from a friend from high school. One of the imperative and truest thing(s) she wrote to me was that being a young woman and finding compassionate healthcare is challenging, but advocating yourself is the most important thing.

But come to think of it, getting compassionate and competent healthcare as a young woman is more than challenging. It is like the Hunger Games, essentially. But why should we have to fight for something that is a human right?

It bothers me greatly that the United States is ostensibly the leader of the free world, yet we are so far behind in healthcare. Is it out of laziness? Is it because everything is supposed to be a joke? Well, when it comes to healthcare, getting medication for your condition — no matter what it/they may be — should not be a problem, nonetheless a battle.

It bothers me, especially because this past week alone, I had to pay out of pocket for my diabetic equipment just so I can test my blood sugar. Why? I have no access to my endocrinologist until the end of the month of April. So until then, I don’t know who I have to slay in order to get proper refills that insurance will cover. I realize this is more information than anyone will really need to know. However, I am a storyteller, after all. And for me, being a storyteller is the one way I get my voice across for issues that are important to me.

As a member of the American Diabetes Association, I chose to do my civic duty and email my Rhode Island senator, congressman, and representative. Thus far, I’ve received word from Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse. What struck me, particularly from Senator Whitehouse’s letter, is the following:

Dr. Frederick Banting discovered insulin 100 years ago and sold the drug’s patent for $1, reportedly saying, “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.”  Unfortunately, Dr. Banting’s hopes of insulin being affordable and accessible to all have not been realized.  Between 2012 and 2016, the annual cost of insulin nearly doubled.  Today, many Americans struggle to pay for insulin, some resorting to deadly rationing in order to afford this costly drug. 

– Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Ahh, how we all wish for simpler times when the basic necessities would cost less than $5. (That’s even less than gas prices nowadays — ugh!) I’m no expert in the depths of American history or economics, so I do have to pose the question: when did basic necessities become inaccessible?

I also have to say, I am scared once I eventually run out of my (short) supply of insulin. It doesn’t help that I am worried about my blood glucose levels constantly. But you can say that my “American Dream” has been modified to fit my current situation. How do we make our “American Dream” come true? Most people would say we “work to live,” but making your voice heard is imperative, too. Think about it.

xoxo,

a very fed-up April 💙

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How To Confront… Yourself | Self-Improvement

At this point, my readers know that I am a huge fan of the phrase, “practice what you preach.” I recently wrote Is “normal” the new “weird?” | Subtracting bad habits and one bad habit that I forgot to mention was not being able to take my own advice.

This afternoon, I was at sixes and sevens with myself as my body is undergoing chemical change from within. I’m not going to belabor the fact that I’m diabetic. I’m just going to say that. I also recently published Confessions Of A Diabetic: I’m Happier Than I’ve Ever Been Since My Diagnosis at the wee hours of Daylight Savings Time. I did not get to bed until 9:00 a.m. Nonetheless, I felt this nagging sensation at my core as if something needed to be done, yet I was too tired to do anything. I remembered this particular post and how body chemistry is directly correlated to brain chemistry. Put simply, your mental health is only as good as your physical health. If your body aches, your mind aches with it and therefore puts you in a bad mood because your body is in a bad mood. As a kid, whenever I got a stomachache, I always pictured my stomach crying. And I cried with it. I don’t need a psychology or neuroscience degree to know this correlation.

I tend to forget or neglect my own advice. There. I said it. I mean, hey, nobody’s perfect — not even a lifestyle blogger who seems to have her life together.

But this isn’t about having my life together. In fact, I’m not going to lie, I’m doing pretty great in life. However, there are times when I seem to over-romanticize my life. I had someone say to me, “why do you think everything’s sunshine and rainbows?” What’s wrong with being positive? I can’t help but wonder, is there such thing as being too happy? I’m watching Brene Brown’s TED Talk on Netflix right now, and she said earlier on, “I get dangerous because I like myself so much.” Although she was referring to coaching women on body image, this applies to something so much bigger than that. I’m not sure if scientists or psychologists have discovered this yet.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being happy. In fact, being happy is normal as opposed to being sad and cynical. There comes a point where you have to take inventory of yourself, especially when you’re at sixes and sevens like I was this afternoon. Maybe I just need some sleep. But I can’t use that as an excuse for not taking my own advice. I’m not saying you should punish yourself, rather confront yourself. Let’s be real, as a lifestyle and advice blogger, who would I be fooling if I weren’t pouring 110% of my advice through your screens? In today’s world, we’re getting to the point where the next generation is becoming our bosses. I know, that’s scary to think about. But you shouldn’t take your own power for granted and lackadaisical about your responsibilities and your overall role(s).

Case in point: confront yourself before anyone confronts you.

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Is “normal” the new “weird?” | Subtracting bad habits

In less than ten days, here in North America that is, it’ll be the first official day of Spring. I think that when adults think of Spring, they think of cynicism and “oh, watch there be snow in May.” I, on the other hand, was taught to believe that Spring brings new beginnings. Having gone to a Catholic high school, I learned that Spring was the initiator of the Paschal Mystery. What I find “mysterious” about that concept of religion, is that it theology and science go hand-in-hand. Another thing I was taught, is that Chemistry is the foundation of all sciences. Chemistry is more than just mixing strange liquids into a flasks and test tubes. It is the elegance of all that the world is and what we are. Falling in love is a chemistry. You hear terms like “brain chemistry” all the time. And brain chemistry is not a myth. Yes, I started out as a chemistry major and my fourth grade teacher was right; I hate math and I always will, even though it’s inevitable and I practically aced honors Precalculus junior year.

Moreover, I touched upon this in The Correlation of Hummingbirds, Dancing, and Algebra, but this blog post is going to be slightly different. This post discusses Spring cleaning, except, we clean our behavior of the weeds that are bad habits.

It takes a really, really short amount of time to develop a habit. I couldn’t tell you exactly how much time it takes. But I know that even if we commit to doing something 5% less frequently, it could change us for the better. For example, I receive a journal prompt via text message every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning. If I go one of those days without journaling at 7 a.m., chances are, I won’t do it at all for a while. Yes, that did happen and I sat my butt down on my bed and wrote in my journal today’s prompt. It just occurred to me that I should also stop swearing so much. A lot of people have a tendency to say “sh*t” under their breath. Personally, I have a tendency to say “ow,” even when I’m not in pain. All it does is just manifest a bad mood and, of course, unnecessary pain. So, I wrote in my journal the following: “I can stop saying ‘ow,’ ‘f**k,’ and/or ‘sh*t’ 5% less for each word, to help myself feel like there’s less of a weight on my wellbeing.” Personal growth is not always about “doing more.” In fact, personal growth is subtracting these bad habits, toxic people, foods, etc.

I mean, really, I’m not always in pain. And even though I also have a proclivity to stress myself out, I can’t do that anymore, for health’s sake. Plus, I’m not always stressed!

However, I can’t help but wonder if stress has become the new “normal” and if “normal” has become the new “weird.” I was talking to a coworker at lunch in the cafeteria last week, and it’s amazing how much she and I have in common! However, the one thing that she and I had in common completely was abnormal for society, and that was growing up in the midst of constant chaos. She even said at one point, “I get suspicious if things seem normal.”

What stops us, in general, from feeling normal? Did the definitions of “normal” and “weird” swap? Impossible. What’s weird is hissing and swearing at absolutely nothing, even when said “nothing” is wrong. What’s weird is having pain where your appendix should be, even if you already had it surgically removed. What’s weird is thinking you don’t deserve what you’ve earned. Have you ever been so happy you were terrified?

Let us “normalize” things that are supposed to be normal! Let’s normalize human tones of voice, instead of lashing out. Let’s normalize being happy. Let’s normalize intelligence over ignorance. Let’s normalize shaking hands when meeting people who aren’t our bosses. Not only are these all completely normal, but it’s good practice for developing good habits. 😊

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Confessions Of A Diabetic: I’m Happier Than I’ve Ever Been Since My Diagnosis

A month ago, I nearly succumbed to diabetic ketoacidosis, with a blood sugar level almost so lethal that I could barely walk. I hardly remember anything/everything that night, and honestly, my overall memory is somewhat impaired to this day. I keep saying the line, “some days and even hours are better than others.” But with keeping my diabetes management consistent and a part of my daily routine, I’ve found that I am happier than I’ve ever been since my diagnosis.

I saw a picture of myself on International Women’s Day in 2021 in my Snapchat memories, when I was heavy drinker, 20 pounds heavier, and a cashier at a part-time retail job that paid minimum wage in Rhode Island (which is lower than any other state in New England). I’m thinking, as I write this, with my cat curled up next to me on my queen-sized bed, and in desperate need of a neck massage, that I was definitely not in love with that life that I once led. Although I had since quit said retail job and found a man who loves me for all that I am, I still had a lingering proclivity to drink and to binge-eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. That ended in January when I chose to start intermittent fasting, which I think had at least something to do with my demise. My nurses in the hospital even said, “you can’t just not eat.” They’re right, it’s not ideal for a diabetic to skip meals.

Another thing: when your physical health is good, so is your mental health. It’s no secret that I have acute anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I often drank to forget about the reality of feeling anxious, only to forget that alcohol is a depressant (and has a lot of sugar and fat content — empty calories!). Since January 2nd of this year, I’ve been over two months sober. The painful acid reflux was still plaguing me, and I was often tired. It was obvious that I had physical ailments that were explained once I was diagnosed with diabetes.

To think I was once so carefree that I completely disregarded my health astounds me, and not in a good way. This is all going into a novel that I’m working on, based on my experience. The truth is, no one can live like Louis XIV, who lived in the lap of luxury at the Palace of Versailles. I am still the foodie I was in my “past life,” I’m just moderating my meals, carb-counting, reading nutrition facts, taking insulin before meals, and measuring my blood sugar four times a day. I actually have the motivation to work out again and I’m leading a healthy diet that’s not only beneficial for diabetics, but for everyone — no matter who you are. I’m still losing as much weight as I was when I was intermittent fasting. I don’t know if I’d necessarily call my diagnosis a “kundalini awakening,” but everything has been working out career-wise, and my manifestations have been coming true.

What’s also almost in divine-timing is that I found out my best friend is dealing with a chronic illness, as is my boyfriend (not diabetes and both separate illnesses). This goes to show that I’m not alone at all. But my family, relatives, friends, boyfriend, and even (some) strangers need not have a chronic illness to be in my corner because I know that they would all have my back either way. 💖 Connections matter!

xoxo,

April

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“Where Do You See Yourself In 10 Years?”

I remember answering this question when transitioning to fifth grade. I said, “I am taking a cruise to Australia” because Australia was where I wanted to go, being the animal-lover that I am. Little did I realize that my teacher knew I was going to be a writer and not the next American Idol (the fact that I had a plan to audition when I turned seventeen makes me LOL).

I didn’t think this question would be relevant until this very day. I am sitting in my bedroom, in a completely different state, and things are certainly better than they were ten years ago. I had gone to a Catholic high school. I had gone to college to earn a bachelor of fine arts in creative writing. I am now in my final semester of my masters program in publishing and writing. All of this did not take place in Australia. I’ve never even been. But I have been to Paris and Barcelona and I can say they are my two favorite cities in the world.

I had finished the book, Rules For Being A Girl by Candace Bushnell, whose life story I discovered recently because she birthed my bible, Sex And The City. I thusly created a “Feminist Book Club.” We held our first meeting on a January afternoon on Zoom, while a blizzard was blanketing the ground with a heresy of snow and the wind blowing our air conditioner cover off. Little did I know the topics of gender and feminism would be imperative in my writing career. Speaking of my writing career, I published two books thus far: Resilience, The Disappearing Act, and the brand new Whispers of Daydreams which you can purchase here.

There were an additional three things I didn’t know would happen: 1) I would have two blog brands: The April Diaries and Gals Gotta Eat; 2) I would develop a chronic illness; 3) my writing career would also manifest into a corporate environment, working as a digital content writer for the oldest insurance company in the USA.

You can say I’m reaching a height in my career, but as my fifth grade idol, Miley Cyrus once sang, “it’s all about the climb.” I’ve met Vogue editors who said they haven’t even had that “I made it” moment yet (which I find odd considering it’s Vogue).

Moral of the story: life has its twists and turns, but everything happens for a reason. Yes, I am aware there are countless debates on that. I’m not sure if I believe that everyone has a “destiny,” per se, but there are some people who always have a certain inkling that they “know” what they’re supposed to do in life. For me? That’s to own a publication that inspires people. Now, at twenty-five-years-old-going-on-twenty-six, I am proud to say I have two of those.

Happy International Women’s Day to all my readers. You can aspire to be anything and achieve it, too. 💗

xoxo,

April

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What To Do When You Feel “Stuck” In A Funk

I just got out of my weekly writer’s meeting with my internship site for the semester, and honestly, I feel more motivated than ever to cross the finish line. I am grateful to my boss and everyone else around me for being so flexible. If you don’t know what’s going on, you can read my last post here.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve sought out help in support groups and been to therapy. Therapy was also a good “kick in the butt” (in a gentle way, of course). Also, watching How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is a great motivator, since the plot is centered around journalism. Reaching out to friends helps, too. I also put my new planner into use and I used my notes section to write down everything I’m grateful for, and everything that I know I am (a.k.a my “best traits”).

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to take breaks. February was a total blur for me, but in a nontraditional sense (I was in the ICU for Pete’s sake!). Believe me, in the beginning of February, I thought I was suffering from burnout, but the fatigue and severe acid reflux only manifested into diabetes. I even go back to my full-time job next week and I could not be more stoked to actually have a real start at a place whose employees actually care about their fellow employees. And this is a simple fact of life: flexibility is the sign of intelligence.

With that being said, you should probably be more flexible with yourself, too. This also means communicating how you feel to others so they’re not left “high and dry.” You’d be surprised at how many people can actually be understanding and try to help you out. I’ll admit that I’m stubborn and had this carefree lifestyle once upon a time and thought I was invincible. FYI: no one is. My internship boss said to the staff last week, “everyone takes a sh*t. Some people get it out easier than others.” The same goes if you’re stuck in a funk. For some people it’s easier to get out of than others, depending on who you are. Everyone has different ways of doing it. I was talking to my publisher today, and we concluded that people deal with anxiety differently. That was no underlying secret to me, to begin with. As Mrs. Incredible says, “you need to learn how to be more flexible” (she said in her seductive voice LOL).

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I Have Diabetes

The fact that the last post I made could’ve been my last is something I still can’t comprehend. February 14, 2022 — the day I almost died, and also the day I lived.

I was sitting at my desk at a brand new job… that I had to leave early. I had this continuous feeling that I was going to barf and faint at the same time. Falling asleep in my cubicle would not have been ideal. I had gotten home with lungs filled with cold, bitter air but also a lot of congestion. The amount of pain I was in was unbearable. I wrote this one off as my anxiety making my acid reflux worse; but that didn’t explain why my back was stinging with pain, too. It also didn’t explain why I threw up four times within a matter of two hours.

Then came a little after 11:00 p.m. and I got up from what was supposed to be sleep, but only made me feel worse. I got up out of bed, only to find I could barely walk. I succumbed to my mother’s suggestion to go to the Emergency Room.

You Have What?

The whole night was a total blur, and by that I mean I have no recollection of what happened other than the fact I was in the ICU and wet the bed trying to use a bed pan. (That’s way TMI, but still.) When I regained consciousness, I remember coughing and sounding like the demon from Beloved. I could barely keep my eyes open, nonetheless talk. I was beyond dehydrated. I could barely breathe, due to the dehydration and my overall condition. I later found out from a doctor that I did in fact, have diabetes. All of the events of the day led me to having a near-lethal blood sugar level (over 400). My Diet Coke certainly didn’t help, nor did the honey in my tea earlier that evening. It was then 4:00-5:00 a.m. and I was tired and confused. I don’t know why but I was concerned about my phone, which I later found that my mother had it all along — not that it really mattered where my phone was. My health was/is the only thing that matters here.

It’s needless to say that it came not only out of left field to me, but to everyone else I know. My best friend asked if I was okay, my poor boyfriend was really worried, and my dietician the other day was completely thrown off.

A Second Chance At Life

It’s still an emotion-jerker for me that I’ll never get my old life back, but the truth is, this is a whole new chance at a better life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to what my “past life” gave me, but this “new life” is giving me a chance to eat healthier, exercise (as soon as my arms stop hurting from where the IV injections were), but also remind myself that I’m still a fun-loving, fashion-loving, literature-loving, whatever-you-name-it person.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments. Some hours are better than others. I can’t fathom how much emotional pain this diagnosis caused me as of recent. I can barely stare at a screen for prolonged periods of time; I’m surprised I’m well enough to even write this post. But today, February 24, just ten days after that day, I put on makeup and pulled myself together for myself. That isn’t to say that I probably won’t have a crying spell tonight, but I was actually able to write down what I’m grateful for the first time in over a week. My hands regained their strength, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to type!

Speaking of “type,” I most likely have type 2 diabetes and I’m coming to terms with it slowly and somewhat gracefully. It’s certainly taking some time to mentally wrap my head around this diagnosis, but just like everything else, it comes with time.

Come join me on this brand new, beautiful lifestyle.

xoxo,

April

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January 2022 Reflection: Recognizing Anxiety, Achievements, And Who I Am

It was almost 6:00 a.m. on a Thursday morning and I felt like I was drowning in a glass tube that only got smaller and smaller, tighter and tighter, and my TMJ was acting up. I’m verbally begging the pain in my left jaw to stop as my tears ricocheted off my cheeks and onto my cotton-candy pink sweater. At the same time, it also feels like I’m on dry land because my throat is pleading for water and Advil. Thoughts of the annoyances of the past scratch dangerously beneath the surface of my skin. Will somebody, please, make it stop! My eyes see something of a pink and indigo Van Gogh painting and I can almost see my blood turning green, right where the scab on my thumb is.

This, my friends, is an anxiety attack I had last week.

For once, I’m able to write down what an anxiety attack feels like for me. Also for once, I choose my choice to be a writer because it’s who I am. A few minutes later, the scab turns into nothing as I sit down at my laptop to write my manuscript for my third book (…which got picked up!).

It’s so easy to feel like we’re never enough, and forget about the ways we’ve grown. Remembering our growth can make us feel more confident about tackling the future. This month, I read more books than I ever did in one month’s time span, saw a dietician, scored a full-time job, kept my sobriety in check (I’ve been sober for one month!), drank more water, and re-started submitting my art and poetry to literary outlets.

I quoted this A Cinderella Story quote in Unstoppable | How I’ve Been After a Month’s Hiatus but the same quote still applies; “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” In other words, don’t give up. If people are being negative around you and trying to feed off your positivity, don’t you dare let their negative, growly, bitchiness cross your line of hope for your own future and present. After all, the present is what really matters here.

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How To Achieve Your Goals In 2022 Without Losing Your Mind

Hi everyone! First of all, happy New Year. Second, I don’t know about you but I *used* to suck at achieving my New Years’ resolutions. But I’ll be honest with you, the concept of a “New Year’s resolution” is crap, and I’ll tell you why; the name in it of itself sounds intimidating and it sounds like something you absolutely have to achieve, simultaneously putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. However, if you turn that phrase into just simply “goals,” it sheds the pressure.

For example, one of my goals this year is to feel better in my body by intermittent fasting and eating foods that are good for me and give me energy. I was worried at first about losing weight because I thought I’d go straight back into unhealthy eating and drinking habits. Oh yeah, and I quit drinking alcohol cold turkey, which was surprisingly easy! But if you change the phrase, “losing weight” into “being healthier,” again, it sounds less intimidating and actually fun to do! I personally recommend the app “Fastic” — it’s a free app that tracks your fasting windows and actually reminds you to DRINK WATER! If you read/listened to Atomic Habits by James Clear, you’d know that even if you start something and stick with it, whatever “it” is automatically becomes a part of your routine. Don’t get me wrong, I never took a psychology class in my life (and honestly wish that I have!) but I don’t need a psychology degree to know that when you switch a phrase, something you’re trying to achieve will actually become a fun process!

Another trick or “life hack” is choosing quality over quantity. Yes, this concept applies to your lifestyle. For example, another one of my goals is to read 52+ books this year. How do I make that sound less intimidating? I choose good books that I actually want to read, including the books I’m reading in my climate literature class this semester (yes, “cli-fi” is a real multigenre, and yes, I recommend it!). I’m not even going to stress out if I don’t make it past 52 books, as long as I’m having fun reading!

Let’s track back to health for a sec; if you’re struggling with a workout schedule, sit down with your agenda/planner/whatever and schedule when your workouts would take place. But only workout if you feel like it. You can’t force your body to do something. Listen to your body. If you work in the morning/afternoon, it’s more likely that you’ll be working out at night. I have yet to get my schedule in complete order, myself.

In summation, the key to achieving your goals is to have fun doing it, even if you have to change a phrase to wire your brain into wanting to do it.

Like always, I wish you folx godspeed in achieving your goals for 2022! Make this year better than the last two years! Commit to the “new you.”

xoxo,

April

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10 Gender-Neutral Ways To Build A Better Dating Profile In 2022

I met my boyfriend on Bumble, and one of the things he told me right off the bat was that he loved the confidence I exuded in my pictures and my responses. He especially liked that I said in response to a prompt that read, “You should swipe right if you…” and I said something along the lines of “if you can find the right girl and stick to her.” We’ve been dating for almost six months.

I care about my followers. And if you are trying to find love, believe me when I say I was in your shoes. And if you’re on a dating app and you’re thinking about giving up, please DON’T. Believe me when I also say that I was sick of guys who were afraid of commitment and sent pictures of themselves on the toilet (if you’re a guy reading this, women don’t want to see the inside of your underwear — GROSS).

Without further ado, here are tips for all genders on dating apps:

  • Pick the pictures that best depict YOU — not some fake smile from a senior photo. I’m talking about your best feature, in your opinion.
  • Pick a picture of you when you were genuinely happy (e.g., graduation, in another country, etc.)
  • DON’T post a picture of yourself getting sh*t-faced or doing drugs. (PSA: please don’t do drugs.)
  • With that being said, an innocent picture of you and another person drinking something like champagne, a martini, or wine is appropriate.
  • Pick a picture of you and your friends (something recent, if applicable, I know it’s hard because we’ve been living three total years in a pandemic!).
  • DON’T post a picture of you and your ex girlfriend/boyfriend.
  • Pick a picture of you doing something you love (e.g., my boyfriend posted a picture of himself in front of BMW’s which he has a passion for — nothing more sexy than that).
  • Make your bio coherent and include what exactly you do for a living.
  • Have a witty response to one question and something serious in another.
  • If applicable, pick a picture of you and a family member, preferably a parent or mother/father figure.

I hope these help, and I wish you all godspeed on finding love in 2022!

xoxo,

April

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7 Quotes By Betty White We Can Bring Into The New Year

Today, on New Year’s Eve, we lost a legend a few weeks before her 100th birthday: Betty White. All of our hearts are broken. People say that 2022 is going to “suck” without our paperweight of culture. I say, let her legacy carry into the new year and beyond. And believe me when I say that 2022 is going to be better year.

I realize that 2021 has been rough for a lot of people. As COVID surges from city to city, we have to remember this affirmation: Even though I cannot see the good in a situation, I know it’s always there. That’s not a Betty White quote, but I still have to proclaim my good word.

  1. “I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet.”
  2. “Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.”
  3. “It’s not a surprise, we knew it was coming—make the most of it. So you may not be as fast on your feet, and the image in your mirror may be a little disappointing, but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game.”
  4. “My mother always used to say, “The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.”
  5. “You’re never too old for anything.”
  6. “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.”
  7. “You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age. You don’t lose any of your sense of humor. You don’t lose any of your zest for life, or your lust for life.”

This is just seven, but I do have to share this one poem that I wrote in light of her legacy:

And just like that,

Heaven is a little brighter,

all four corners are gilded,

and the four women who once

graced our televisions are together again.

— Rest in Peace, Betty White

@ AprilFederico

Happy New Year, folx.

xoxo,

April

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How To Not Become A Doormat And/Or People Pleaser

I used to self-define myself as a “people pleaser,” which is not the case anymore. I am not a doormat to be walked all over. I am a human being, too, who’s just trying to be satisfied in life– my life. After all, we’re not put on this planet to “please” others.

There’s that saying, and I’m pretty sure I’ve quoted this before, “do what you love and you never have to work another day in your life.” But when you take a job, are you doing it for you? Or are you just doing it to please others? If you said yes to the latter, you’re like me: a former doormat. This is just a hypothetical example, but that’s not to say that I haven’t experienced it for myself. As a writer, I hear the words, “get a real job” ring in my ears all the time, from the first time I heard it. Who said art can’t be a job? Maybe I just needed to vent here, but it’s true. Artist, Wayne Thiebaud painted every day until he was 101 — a prime example.

I stay up after 1 a.m. writing this, with a fire in my heart and an enormous passion for what I do. Some people will call you crazy for pursuing your passion. Some people will try to tell you what to do, try to shut you up, or crap on your passions, only for the sake of pleasing their asses.

Moreover, I can’t help but feel like, when I was bullied in middle school that I let people walk all over me, just like a doormat. I let people cut me in line and hear my name mentioned to my face and behind my back. One time, I got hit in the head and let the guy get away with it, without an apology. When I was in eighth grade, it finally smacked me in the face with a textbook that I was letting all the BS happen to me. There came time when I refused to let people put their feet in the back of my chair and to move a couple of seats down for their “friends.”

The funny thing about being a “doormat,” is that people will think you’re never going to be successful. I hate to say this, but if you let people walk all over you, you will not get what you want, out of a situation or in life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to take the high road, but it’s also okay to say “thank you” after an apology when it’s certainly not “okay.” And when someone keeps asking you to do something, just say, “I can’t help you this time/anymore because…” but you don’t even have to give a reason, though a reason can help back up any argument.