My Social Break and How It Affected My Goals for 2019

On December 3rd, I made a decision to quiet my mind for the last month of 2018. This meant less of anything that caused my thoughts–specifically negative thoughts–to run rampant in order to give myself a mental break. There are things I cannot avoid like having to interact and be ‘on’ at work, but when I get home, I try to do whatever I can that allows me to be productive without making my mind spiral. As recently written, I am finally delving into the causes for my depression and seemingly increasing levels of anxiety. But in order to do this, I needed to almost fully break down. I intentionally retreated for most of December and part of my retreat was disabling my social media.

I did not deactivate my Facebook or Snapchat because they do not give you an option to temporarily deactivate, so I just deleted the apps from my phone. Instagram, however, does give you an option to temporarily disable so I did that as well as deleting the app from my phone. It’s funny because despite the content I create and how much I enjoy sharing it, I barely spent any time on social media in terms of engagement. I only view what my closest friends are posting and then I close the apps. But that’s kind of weird, isn’t it? I don’t scroll or engage with other people because I don’t want to see what people are doing. I already know that it will cause me to start comparing my life to others’, despite my logical side completely refuting it. So, I avoid it altogether. That’s just…not good.

I am a product of my generation, so I ended up signing back in on December 30th to share my most recent project. I wrote part of this post ahead of time in anticipation of having a list of new revelations from the break; however, I found myself re-reading what I wrote on my first post of 2018 and realizing I am in the exact same position, if not worse. I am not going to sit here and talk about how disappointed I am that I did not commit to making things better for myself this past year. I wish I had a list of things that I concretely learned this past month from being ‘disconnected.’ Instead, I am making a decision that I no longer want or need to do better–I have to. I will say, if I learned anything from this break it is that my journey to love and acceptance (in all forms) is going to be a long, strenuous but necessary process. No matter how I write it, there will be people who do not understand or cannot relate to what I am talking about, but what others think is slowly becoming less of a priority.

If 2018 was the year of letting go, 2019 is the year of closure. I pride myself in recognizing my shortcomings and I hope plan to look back this time next year and say, “Look how far I’ve come.”

xx, AE

Better Late Than Never

I have said time and time again that creating this blog started out as a simple way to be connected with friends and family when I was abroad, but it quickly turned into so much more for me. It has become an outlet for me and a place where I can really be expressive. I embarked on a creative journey this year which leads me to the point of this post. I made a decision with the new year that I wanted to bring this blog back to life, so I have been cataloging my travels throughout the year in the form of vlogs (read: video logs); tonight, I launched my YouTube channel!

I figured that since people have enjoyed my photos on my blog, what could be better than actually taking everyone with me on my trips? Admittedly, the first few vlogs are a bit ‘cringy’ as I am getting used to speaking to a camera in public, and I struggled in some places due to weather conditions, but I have to say that the whole process has been a lot of fun for me so far! People have a lot of ideas and feelings about YouTube, but I am excited to share these videos with you and, I guess, the rest of the world.

As of right now, the vlogs will be uploaded every other Thursday, and they will be posted in chronological order with my first trip of the year to L.A. What I plan to showcase through this channel is not only the travel footage, but other discussions about experiences while traveling, tips for more seamless travel, and featured guests to provide a more well-rounded view rather than just hearing everything from me. My brother, Cameron, will also graciously be producing all of the music for my vlogs.

I will continue updating this blog exactly as I do now because this is the drawing board for me. It is the place where I fully tapped into my writing and what made me realize that it could be part of a larger career. Long story short, no matter what ideas come to fruition, this blog will not go away, but I am so happy to be finally sharing this with everyone just in time for the new year. I cannot wait to start creating more videos and improving on this new skill set.

I would really appreciate any feedback that people have–the only way for me to improve the content that I provide for you all is to know exactly what brings you to my blog (and now my YouTube Channel) and what keeps you here. I hope that these videos will bring you as much joy as I had filming them. For the people who knew about this or were actually a part of this, thank you so much for your support! I would not have felt comfortable continuing this if it hadn’t been for the encouragement I received in the last year.

Again, new videos will be up every other Thursday, but there are already two uploaded for you all to check out. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! ❤

xx, AE

Colors by the Crescent

Colors by the Crescent

My friend, Ilse, told me about another cool pop-up happening in Dallas called “Psychedelic Robot.” After my amazing experience at the Sweet Tooth Hotel, I knew I wanted to check it out. Seeing as it was only on for nine days, I immediately purchased a ticket for me and my mom and we made our way over.

This exhibition was so cool. Though similar to other pop-ups I see online with neon, paint splatter, and a pool of all of the colors of the rainbow, it featured all of the artists’ personal work alongside their curated pieces for this show. That was arguably my favorite part. As expected, it is interactive (meaning you can touch things and sit on things) and there are PLENTY of photo ops. In fact, they encourage it!
ANE_0053 Continue reading “Colors by the Crescent”

An Evening of Inspiration with Bold Babes Co.

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the launch party of Bold Babes Co, a brand and community dedicated to bringing women together to use their resources to help one another through skill sharing, mentorship, and guidance. The founder of Bold Babes, Shampaigne Graves, invited me personally and I could not turn down this opportunity after reading about her mission. To say this event was inspiring would be an understatement.
ANE_0269ANE_0337ANE_0273The theme of the night was collaboration. Every speaker touched on the importance of utilizing and building one’s network even when it may seem silly or discouraging at times. Collaboration is the best way to get inspired, to get your name out there, and, most importantly, to help someone else along the way. A way to make that happen is to also believe in the power of manifestation.

Mindfulness and manifestation are not new concepts, but many are skeptical of their results. I write a lot on here about my personal mindfulness journeys, but I am a lazy participant when it comes to manifestation. I wholeheartedly believe that what you put into the universe is what you get back, and I can sit all day long telling other people that. But do I do that for myself? Sadly, no. I succumb to confirmation bias, and just when I am ready to throw in the towel, moments like last night come along to remind me to continue on my journey.

I also thought it was incredible for Shampaigne to partner with Dallas-based businesses such as OWNEXT Media, who created the Bold Babes commercial, and Beverages in Bibs (BIBS) who provided us with refreshments. There were so many more vendors and sponsors, I was blown away that she rallied all of these people in a matter of a couple of weeks. If that isn’t a #girlboss move, I don’t know what is!

ANE_0336ANE_0350ANE_0352ANE_0351ANE_0357What I loved about this event was that everyone was there to support Shampaigne and in turn ended up supporting each other. I loved seeing everyone’s business cards being traded and the positive energy surging through the event as all these beautiful women (and a few men) were connecting to strengthen this network in Dallas. Everyone was proudly sharing their stories and it dissipated any fear I had to introduce myself as a blogger for the first time.
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I seriously cannot thank Shampaigne enough for reaching out to me about the Bold Babes Launch Party! Though we did not know each other personally before this event, I am so proud of her and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet so many smart, creative people. ❤

Make sure you are following @boldbabesco on Instagram!!

xx, AE