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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.

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BLOG-MAS: What’s Your ‘Why?’ The Purpose Statement

I write this after completing my second-to-last semester at Emerson College’s MA in Publishing and Writing program. Wow. What a milestone! I feel an overwhelming spurt of emotions, mostly happy and I’m not fearing the future quite yet. It’s all about living in the moment, and I couldn’t be happier with where I am in life. But hey, I don’t have that degree in my hand quite yet as I embrace my boyfriend and my family.

I remember when I was taking part in virtual orientation prior to starting classes, and the vice president of the college was talking about what we had written for our purpose statements. I hardly remember my purpose statement, but I do remember it having to do with inspiring others, along with a few mentions of my undergraduate career and how I got here. Essentially, it also incorporated resilience (which is coincidentally the title of my first poetry book). It didn’t take me long to write mine, but it did require some thought.

The statement of purpose isn’t necessarily autobiographical, but it should highlight your greatest strengths and some of the activities you’ve done that would (hopefully) benefit your career at your school of choice. For example, I was a part of RWU’s literary magazine, Mount Hope and I was additionally the Editor-in-Chief of the English and Creative Writing Department’s online zine, Voices. I also had two internships under my belt at the time, one of which was at Rhode Island Monthly, which was a great asset and leg-up to have. This is also a great opportunity for your grad school to see how well you write. I can also add that having a little personal something-something (without belaboring it) in your statement is beneficial because schools also want to imagine you outside of school.

Not only that, but schools also want to know your literal purpose for completing a master’s or PhD. What is your “why?” What you eventually put on paper and send to your school might change as you’re in your program. This world is crazy and so is life. But still, why [insert school here]? Why [insert program here]? You could also incorporate, why now?

Consider this a part two of BLOG-MAS: Reasons To Go To Graduate School. Also, one “don’t” I’ve learned from a professor doing my recs was to not include the location of the school because it’s considered insulting. So yeah, don’t do that! That shouldn’t even be a reason or a part of your “why.”

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BLOG-MAS: Reasons To Go To Graduate School

I can hear Taylor Swift’s “…Ready for it?” playing in my head as I write this.

I knew wayyy before I was a senior in college that I wanted to go to graduate school. I had a reason behind it. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school because I knew it would give me a “leg up” in my professional career. The question was, where would I go? What would I do? If you read previous posts, you’d know that I had it narrowed down to law and publishing. I then knew I had to go into publishing for my love of writing and aspirations to one day create my own magazine. I couldn’t let that go to waste! I’ve had people express their preference for me to go into law because I could be successful. But guess what? I’m 25 with a heck of a resume that was possible due to my publishing program at Emerson College.

Some people could have totally wrong reasons to pursue a graduate degree. Yet, at the same time, there are better reasons to go to graduate school.

DO go to graduate school to advance your career.

DON’T go to graduate school just because “it sounds cool.”

DO go to graduate school because you know what you want to do.

DON’T go to graduate school because something like business or law “sound glamorous.”

DO go to graduate school because you want to.

DON’T go to graduate school as a “last resort.”

For some people it’s a quicker decision than others. There’s the ever-popular argument that “everyone is doing it.” Newsflash: not a lot of people do it, and it takes time for some people. You needn’t know what you want to do right when you get out of college. I know people who get their MBA even after getting their first master’s degree, or even their PhD! Whomever said it’s not okay to change your mind clearly doesn’t know this process.

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What I Wish I Knew As A First Semester Senior

Chances are you were a first semester senior this past semester, or you’re about to be, depending on where you are in your college career. I remember when I was a first semester senior in college; and I wasn’t completely sure of what I wanted. I didn’t fully know what I wanted until I was a second-semester senior and I was accepted at Emerson College for my MA in Publishing and Writing. For the first semester senior, I’m sorry I took so long writing this post, but even as winter break comes, these are some things you should know now:

  1. Early bird gets the worm for graduate school.
  2. Early bird also gets the worm for law school. So, start early.
  3. It’s okay to dabble in different area of extra curricular.
  4. It’s okay if you don’t do well in math, especially if it’s algebra that you decide to take. Math is hard!
  5. Ask and you shall receive!
  6. You can do anything with a humanities (arts, writing, history, etc.) degree.
  7. It’s okay if you don’t have a secure plan right after college, but make sure you have a job! (No matter if it’s retail, etc.)
  8. You should have an internship secured for your last semester.
  9. Don’t beat yourself up if you thought you were in ostensibly “the wrong major,” no one is in the “wrong major,” so embrace what you know. Everything you learned comes in handy.
  10. You don’t have to make highest honors.
  11. You don’t have to go to graduate school.
  12. Save your money early.
  13. Not everyone will like what you choose to do after college. But in the end, it’s up to you.

Merry Blog-Mas everyone! (:

xoxo,

April

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The Crepe Of Life Is In Your Hands | Forgiveness

Alexa, play “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera and then “Unstoppable” by Kat Deluna.

Recovering from a rough Tuesday night and day. I was journaling while picking apart a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin from Starbucks. I realize that I bite into the bread every day. I’m not talking about carbs, I talking about life.

Every day you and I are winning in this game of life, as the world was designed for all of us to win (and sometimes lose). I remember this one line from Emily In Paris: “I can’t share a crepe, I need the whole crepe.” Although Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) was referring to a relationship with Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), needing the whole crepe applies to every day life.

The crepe is in our hands every day. It may take us a while to get to the center of that creamy, strawberry or Nutella filling. It’s similar to eating a cream cheese muffin or even a cheese danish! Sometimes you are left with crumbs that you can only throw out or that you can wipe off from your clothing, and in some cases, crumbs that stay on the ground. All of the times, you have to bite into the bread/cake that is less exciting and not as tasty as that filling you’re striving for. It’s a matter of fact that you have to bite through the blandness to get what you want. The journey can be sweet and savory, if you think positively. Even if it is bland and a process, it comes with achieving what you want.

Something that I’ve always found strange, since I was in fourth grade, is that people will judge you for simply eating. I remember in tenth grade I got weird looks from an eighth grader while eating a pizza. (What???) Eating is something that not everyone has a healthy relationship with. However, we need food to survive and to get specific nutrients in our bodies. We build these sustainable diets to get the life we want — or even the “glow-up” that we want. It’s similar to that of life because people will judge you for simply doing you and what benefits your future.

In recent events, and after a therapy session today, my therapist and I came to the conclusion that I was probably made to “sit still look pretty.” Who would’ve known, based on my past, that I’d wind up successful? There were points where I could’ve kicked myself for “missing out.” But did I really? No.

It’s simple: I forgive myself. I forgive my past. I forgive the boys who would make fun of my lunches in fifth grade. I forgive those who questioned my adoration for Miley Cyrus. I forgive those who questioned my love for theatre. I forgive those who made fun of my perm in sixth grade (I’ll even admit that wasn’t my best look). I forgive those who made fun of my learning disability out of sheer ignorance. I forgive those who treated/treat me differently because I was/am different. In fact, thank you for doing those things because I wouldn’t have had the courage and the thickest of skins to go on and do what I do. Thank you, universe, for giving me the spirit guides who told me to go on. I continue to tell my story for the rest of my life. I may not be immortal, but every story is.

If you don’t forgive, how do you expect to move on and do what you do now? What you’re passionate about? Never forget the good things that came out of those bad experiences. They may seem bad then, and I’m there’s a middle schooler somewhere reading this. Truth is, reader, whomever you may be: those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind. You’re not here to just sit still, look pretty, and have your lips zipped. Live your truth, and don’t let society change that.

The crepe, danish, cupcake, and/or muffin is in your hands.

xoxoxo,

April

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Habits To Let Go Of By 2022

As we all know, 2021 is reaching its end. It’s no secret that 2020 has led some of us, if not all of us, into bad habits like binge drinking or eating or even being a total couch potato while watching Netflix. In May 2020, two months into the pandemic, I started to realize my self-worth, for the second time. (If you know, you know!) With that being said, some of the things that happened in 2020 led me to negative self-talk, which is one thing to let go of by 2022.

With negative self-talk, you’re literally demeaning your self-worth. Some of this negative self-talk may come from outside sources that say you’re not good enough. If you read The Truth About Self-Esteem, you would know that the truth of the matter is that your self-esteem affects every aspect of your life. As a result of negative self-talk, you’re going to go into a rabbit hole of self-sabotage — the cardinal sin of wellbeing.

Another habit to let go of is to not rush through life like it’s some sort of race. Newsflash: life is not a race. Your only competition is you. After watching a video by Nika Nikita, she mentioned this morbid yet true affirmation: “I am speeding to my death.” Believe me, that can easily apply to driving and living life in the fast-lane. Life is too short to self-medicate with alcohol or getting baked just because you had a rough day. There are alternatives, like realizing that you have this plethora of self-love. This is the only life you will ever have, maybe, unless reincarnation is real — depending on what you believe.

Another thing Nika mentions is how you define your success. To me, success is how much I’ve grown to love my curves, — including the extra fat in my tummy. And what’s icing on the cake is that my boyfriend loves my curves, too! I used to think it was just simply having the “best life,” but what is that exactly? It’s up to you! You are the author to your own story. There will be characters that you don’t like, but yet again, you have no control over their behavior. You just have to play it out and realize that you — the main character — are no tragic Shakespearean hero. Whenever I say this, I always think of Macbeth or Hamlet. Put simply, if you keep focusing on what you think is going to make you successful, it will ultimately lead you to your demise. Again, put simply, that is karma or fate. Let me give you a real-life example; if I were to keep job-searching when I already have everything I need to succeed, I’d go completely bonkers because I’d be feeding my brain with, say it with me… NEGATIVE SELF-TALK!

So, what I’m saying to you is to start letting go of these bad habits and create 1) positive self-talk 2) take the time to stroll through life like it’s a walk in the park (or LIVE IN THE MOMENT!) and 3) own your success, just as it is. Create it on your own terms.

In fact, try this as a journal entry: how do I (you) define success?

For me, it’s to enjoy the freedom I have do to everything I want. I let go of negativity and self-criticism and what people think of me. I am doing the best I can and I am blessed beyond measure.

**If you would like to see April Diaries journal entries, let me know in the comments!

Follow me on Instagram: @ aprilinnewengland

Follow me on TikTok: @ aprilinnewengland

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Committing To A Routine

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably ALWAYS on the go. At this point in time, Friday’s and weekends are my only days off, and for that I am grateful. I wake up Monday-Thursday at a screeching 3 AM, and my eyes are screaming for more sleep. On top of that, this semester I have one class that’s on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I’ve unfortunately fallen into the habit of napping every time I get home. No, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with napping; but I’m realizing that it takes a lot of time out of my day. Don’t get me wrong, rest is important. In fact, I actually made it part of my routine!

Speaking of routines, it’s imperative that you commit to one. Coming to terms with it now, I realize that the word “commitment” doesn’t always refer to romantic relationships. In fact, commitment is a part of adulting and daily life. You’re probably thinking, “but today’s my day off, what do I have to commit to?” For me? Well, it’s no secret that I struggle with anxiety, so changes in routine really f**k me up. It wasn’t until I found this video by Nika Nikita about how to change your life. I figured this was part of my “research” on how I could establish a better routine.

One of the things that I do is script. Scripting is a manifestation tool that helps create the life that you want. But the thing about scripting is that you have to commit to it. You can’t just slap down what you want in your life on a piece of paper and say, “okay, my life is set.” No.

Another thing I try to do is meditate. I highly recommend listening to 741 hertz frequencies or even a guided meditation!

Keeping an agenda or even using Google Calendar or Notion is important, too. You need to have some way of keeping your schedule on track and “schedule out your schedule,” so to speak.

Knowing your limits is important, too. You can’t pour from an empty cup. But it’s important to know when and how you’re going to take your “me days.” But think of it this way, every day is a me day because you get to live.

Part of what I learned is to also nourish yourself, particularly with healthy food. I’ve learned from many years of buying Starbucks at school and from Uber Eats that a White Chocolate Mocha Latte and a chocolate croissant isn’t going to sustain you because of all the sugar. (Which explains why I nearly fall asleep by the time it’s 8 AM at work — yikes!) And besides, healthier foods are what sustain us, in the long run. Also, TAKE YOUR VITAMINS, especially those B-Complex, Vitamin C, and Omega-3. Take them daily, too, as that’s part of the routine. Exercise is important, too, even if you’re just simply stretching. I highly recommend FitOn. It’s completely free!

I will get to resets in another post, but for now, grab an agenda, bullet journal, whatever you use to keep track of yo’self and get to building a healthier mindset, and overall sanity.

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How To Get Your Dream Job/Internship

When I was younger, I had dreams… I still do. I am a girl with dreams that turned into visions. These visions became reality. I dreamt of being a fashion designer, a lawyer, a doctor, now I’m living my dream as a writer.

I recently got a job at… drumroll please… MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)! That’s right, I am going to be working in their communications department and I’m so excited to continue my career in content creating at one of the top higher institutions in the country.

How did I get here, you ask? Well, my first internship was actually in HIGH SCHOOL. So that’s what brings me to my first tip:

  1. Start Early: I said this in a few posts, and I’ll say it again: your major in college is bound to change. However, when you’re in high school, you’ll have interests in mind. My first internship was at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, which I LOVED! I was picked out of 30 applicants to be a volunteer intern, not just due to my high grades and GPA but due to my experience, as someone who lives with a cancer patient. With that being said, I worked in their oncology department. I thought, at the time, that I was going to be a chemistry major with a pre-law background. That was not the case at all. Again, things change, and everything happens for a reason.

2. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity in College

If there is something that is up your alley that you want to do, go for it, by all means necessary. Plus, employers like well-rounded students, so it’s 100% okay to have a lot of interests, as long as you’re not exhausting yourself. Me? I was involved in student politics and Title IX and I’m working in publishing.

3. Any Major Can Do Anything

There’s no doubt that with through every phase of your career (i.e. grad school, undergrad, PhD) that you’re going to wish you did something different. I mean come on, when I was in my first year of grad school, I thought I wanted to work at a veterinary clinic and actually looked into UPenn’s Veterinary program. As I was looking through the majors of the 2020 cohort, I noticed that some were English majors! But no matter what the prerequisites are, you better work b*tch. You want biology and chemistry courses? Take EdX courses! Better yet, these courses have certificate options so you can most definitely add those to your resume!

4. Just Go For It, Even If You Don’t Feel Qualified

I was a sophomore (for the second time) in college when I transferred to RWU. More than anything, I was wanting to write. And I wanted to write for a publication, a magazine at that. Most of you know that I interned for Rhode Island Monthly, and it was indubitably one of the best summers of my life. Having been in Rhode Island for a year, at the time, I wanted to write and edit for one of the premier magazines in the country, and nonetheless a household magazine. I even befriended Lily Herman, who was someone I looked up to greatly because she had her words published in elite publications (e.g. Teen Vogue). With that being said, NETWORK. Even though I felt slightly unqualified, I was getting ready to “kill or die” for an internship (yes, I did use that line — it worked).

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The Truth About Self-Esteem

It was Wednesday morning and I don’t know if it was the Opalite around my neck but my self-worth kicked in. Though I can’t describe exactly what happened, I knew that I had to stand up for myself and to be treated better. (Disclaimer: this was not a boyfriend situation — he and I are very much still together and things are going great!)

But riddle me this: when did self-respect translate into being rude? When did doing this for the sake of building your own future make you selfish? Why do people get mad when you are just trying to make yourself happy? Don’t people want you to be happy?

Oddly enough, I had a therapy session that same morning. I had to say to him (my therapist) that I instantly felt regret standing up for myself, but why was that? He told me that when you haven’t stood up for yourself in a long time, that feeling of regret tends to occur. It seems sad that it happens. However, I think it’s growth.

The last time I remember this happening, I was called a “petulant child” by a professor and accused of disrespect, which only made me cry harder after sticking up for myself to another professor. I wish I could say to her now that self-respect does not equal disrespect for another individual. Respect is earned, not given freely. And just because you’re an older adult, that doesn’t mean that you have ultimate authority. #SorryNotSorry

With self-worth comes self-esteem. Psychologist, Melanie Fennell concluded the following:

• Throughout your life you form negative beliefs about yourself as a result of the way you have been treated. Psychologists call this your ‘bottom line’ or ‘core belief ’. Your core belief is how you feel about yourself deep down, for example “I’m worthless” or “I’m no good”.


• Confronting core beliefs feels unpleasant, so we all develop rules for living that protect us from our core beliefs. These rules guide how you live your life, and as long as your rules don’t get broken, your core belief stays dormant. People with low self-esteem often have rules that are demanding and rigid, such as “I must always please other people”, or “As long as I don’t get criticized then I’m OK”.


• It can feel very anxiety provoking when it seems like one of your rules might be broken. If one of your rules is “I’m OK as long as everyone is happy”, it might be anxiety provoking if people around you are not happy – you might feel that you have failed.


• When there is a danger that rules might be broken, you might make anxious predictions about what might happen and fear the worst (e.g. “I’ll be rejected if I can’t do everything that is expected of me”), or you might speak to yourself in a critical way, or avoid tricky situations and use strategies to cope.

There’s no doubt that I, and everyone else have had these experiences. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve striven to be perfect to the point of sickness. When I was being bullied severely, I felt like I had to “bow down” to some higher power of what was right versus wrong. I can’t help but wonder now, was that society? Or just simply the place I grew up? I swear, that town had 10 Commandments of being ostensibly cool.

I remember the first day of eighth grade, I had health class at the end of the day and my teacher said to the class, “if you don’t have self-esteem by now, you’re on your own!” Comically enough, I didn’t have any self-esteem. I could have been in a room full of people and still be lonely AF (no pun intended — those are my initials).

I remember crying to my mom, and I choke up as I write this, that whenever I tried to talk, I got laughed and snickered at. When I tried to stand up for myself, I was called mean. Another truth about self-esteem is that is affects every aspect of your life.

My therapist said I had this sort of glow after I stood up for myself. I’ve been constantly worried about telling people what I wanted to do and what I was going to do with my life, but I shouldn’t let that terrify me because what I do is ultimately my choice. You’re the author of your own life. Write your own story without people telling you that what you’re writing is wrong.

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We Were Born To Change

I published a post last night about how moving is essentially an empty bookshelf. In a nutshell, life will be restocked with normalcy; it just takes some time.

I couldn’t help but wonder, after writing that post and my COVID-19 reflection, was everything born to change? I say yes. Our bodies go through puberty, whether we like it or not. Presidents run their course in Office. Laws change. People get married. People unfortunately pass on. Computers crash, forcing us to use new(er) technology than we’re used to. Plans change as people make up their minds. Life was born to happen. I may not know what created the Earth, or what even created the MilkyWay. But things were born to change.

I also can’t help but realize that, in a world that’s driven by social media, photos, and memes, we humans have grown up with technology as our needs… wait for it… CHANGE. Disclaimer: I’m no anthropologist, but I do like to call myself a millennial anthropologist, at best.

Moreover, there are some people who really don’t react well to change, and that can be due to a variety of psychological reasons. But the fact of the matter is, change is something we all have to deal with. I recall someone commenting on my post from last night about how moving is a rite of passage, and I cannot think of a better word to describe such a… CHANGE. People call this other phrases like “end of an era.” The truth is, and I realized this after prepping for an interview I have tomorrow, it’s actually rebirth.

I had to delete a post about snakes and rebirth in fear I’d get reconsidered from my current part-time job. But a snake shedding its skin is like shedding the past and slithering into a new generation, thinking pattern, or even way of life!

When I think about a conversation from when I was working at Dollar Tree, the other woman said the pandemic was actually more so of a second coming of Christ and period of judgement for those who have unfortunately succumbed to COVID-19 complications. I’m not religious [anymore] or anything, but I’m starting to consider my own personal notion that the universe presents rites of passages as literal doorways to new beginnings as some part of us is “born again.”

You and I… we were born to CHANGE.

(Did you like my subtle Lana Del Rey reference, there? I did, too.)

xoxo, April