For those who don’t know, October is my favorite month of the year. I have a lot of fond childhood memories of this time, obviously due to Halloween, but I also just enjoy the fall season. This October has been very different from past ones, however (excluding October 2020). My boyfriend and I decided to do ‘sober October’ as we’re trying to get back to being more health-focused. Many of you know that summer is my least favorite season and when I personally experience S.A.D., so with the weather changing exactly as October started, it was the perfect time to start our new goal. Though we have been ‘sober’ in the traditional sense (no alcohol, although we weren’t particularly drinking a lot before anyway), there were some sobering events (no pun intended) at the end of September/beginning of October that have contributed to another detox I’ve been participating in.
As of Labor Day Weekend, I’ve officially been living in El Paso for a full year. In some ways, I can’t believe a whole year has passed, but in other ways, I can. It has certainly been an interesting year and I haven’t spent this much time in the house since the 2020 lockdown, but this has been an incredible learning experience. It has given me a lot of time to gain clarity on things. For example, I learned that despite my natural introvertedness, I do have a desire to be around others and spend time with people regularly. More specifically, I learned that I thrive when I’m able to gain new experiences, get inspiration, and continue to open my mind, but only when access to these moments is not dependent on those around me. I need the freedom of choice. The biggest lesson I’m learning right now is not putting too much stock in the future. After the last (almost) three years, and this experience alone, there really is no point in planning so far ahead. I’m Type A, so I will always be a planner and I take immense joy in planning (especially travel and events), but as far as personal goals are concerned, I’m allowing myself some grace to just see where I land.
My blog’s origin story is much like any other’s. It started as a place for me to share stories with friends and family six years ago, and my readership eventually grew to include people I don’t know personally that also engage with my content. Despite a shift in said content in 2020, it still primarily serves the same purpose. I come here weekly to biweekly to share stories, thoughts, and information and, over the last few months at least, I have actually seen increased engagement on this platform. Still, in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice, I couldn’t help but wonder what the true future of blogging is.
With the rise of TikTok, it is clear the wave of short-form content over the last few years is not slowing down anytime soon (or potentially ever). Though the ‘main’ social media platforms still have their own competitive advantages, seeing Instagram create Reels and Twitter give users the option to make stories has shown that the biggest war right now is who can make the most interesting content in a minute or less–bonus points if it’s in a video format, though none of these platforms can hold a candle to the innovation that Vine users had, in my personal opinion. But we also can’t forget about the threat of the podcast. I remember everybody and their mom was trying to make a podcast in 2018 because, much like audiobooks, it has given us the option to listen to long-form content handsfree while also feeling like we’re chatting with friends (depending on the style of the podcast). There are a lot of factors that contribute to these forms of media being favorable to blogs: our declining attention span due to technology overload, the aging of Gen Z, the aesthetic appeal of visual content, and us being in quarantine and needing constant stimulation. However, where does blogging fit in?
Disclaimer: This is a review of Eat, Pray, Love the film, not the book.
I genuinely can’t remember when I first saw Eat, Pray, Love. The book came out in 2007 when I was a 7th grader and then the movie came out in 2010 when I was in 10th grade–both years of my life during which I did not have the penchant for traveling that I later developed. Further, this book/movie followed a 34-year-old woman regarding topics I had no deep connection to: broken relationships, sense of belonging, life’s purpose–you know, the things you contemplate as an adult. As both a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old, my only concern was the VMAs, going to the mall, and when Beyoncé’s next album was going to drop. What I do know is when I did eventually watch this, I fell in love (pun intended). I am pretty sure it was after my senior trip to Rome in 2012 because that’s her first destination. I routinely watch this film whenever I am feeling in a mindset of restlessness and when I just need to see The Pasta Scene (more on that later), but when I thought to write a review on it, I discovered this film premiered 10 years ago as of August. So, how does it hold up in 2020?