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

24: The Year of Letting Go

Yesterday, I turned 24! While that may not generally be a significant age/milestone, it has turned out to be for me and here is why.

Oftentimes, I find myself worrying about my youth. To others, 24 is not old and I by no means see it as old either, but I am constantly asking myself, “Where did the time go?” I graduated from high school six years ago and when I reflect on college just three years ago, I immediately think of all the time I spent studying, napping, and doing laundry. But what about the fun times? I would never downplay the priceless memories of living with seven other girls, joining my dance team, going abroad, and meeting people who will be my friends for the rest of my life; however, when all of those moments were taking place, I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t totally present. I was always one foot in, one foot out, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or prematurely mourning a good time because I didn’t want it to end. Of course we all want to hold on to great moments and if we could, we’d live them over and over, but I’m just talking about not allowing myself to be free and leave my worries behind.
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I feel like I lost a lot of my time during my late teens and early 20’s to fear, inhibition, and stress. If I had to explain why, you would be reading my autobiography, but I hate that I allowed that to happen. What I want from turning 24–and moving forward in the rest of my life–is to truly start letting go. I think I have actually written previously on this blog about “letting go,” but I am ready for the weight that I put on myself to be lifted off my shoulders. I spend so much time in my head and focus greatly on self-preservation and trying to build a better character. While there are great things about that, I am also hurting myself by not being physically present in everyday life. I need to just live my life in the way that makes me happiest. That includes reminding myself that nothing (and no one) is perfect and that I should not benchmark any part of my life against another person. It is time to stop punishing myself for not being someone else, and to start accepting myself for who I am.
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For me, the year of 24 is more than just being more outgoing and saying “yes” to things more often–it is about quieting that negative, doubting voice. It is about breaking down my own barriers and throwing away the hypothetical guide to life. What I expect, no, set for this year and beyond is more laughter, more openness to experience and others, and finally living with eyes and heart wide open. 24 is The Year of Letting Go.

xx, AE

Why I Have Been on a Fly-atus

Why I Have Been on a Fly-atus

Hello, everyone!

As if my blog in the last year hasn’t already been flooded with apology posts discussing why I’m not posting, I’m here to give you another one. I know, they are really annoying, but I feel compelled to write something nonetheless.

It is pretty simple why I have been on a ‘fly-atus’ (I’m making up words now, thanks to my ANTM-binge): I have just been preoccupied with other aspects of my life at the moment. I have also been saving for bigger, better trips in the near future so part of that obviously means not doing much. I have missed traveling and I hate how inconsistent it has been in terms of updating this website and my social media, but taking March off was completely necessary.

April is hopefully going to get the ball rolling for the rest of spring. As stated in my first post this year, I have some stuff planned for my blog that will hopefully happen sooner than later. If you have noticed, I added a page to my navigation bar called, “Contact.” Whether you are new or a frequent visitor, I opened this tab to answer any questions anyone may have about specific cities I have posted about or just travel in general. Please don’t be afraid to reach out!! 🙂

In the mean time, please enjoy the foolishness that took place when I went to L.A. last month. Talk to y’all soon!!

xx, AE

Good Riddance, 2017

Am I the only one who is extremely happy to be in the new year?

I know the first day of the new year is really like any other day, but I am one of those who believes it to symbolize a new beginning. If you have been keeping up with my blog at all, especially my posts that weren’t about traveling, you could tell I struggled mentally last year. I felt lost, disappointed, and even like a total failure for most of the year. Naturally, these feelings did not suddenly disappear as the new year got closer, but I’m finally at a point where I can recognize (and appreciate) that some great things came out of last year too:

  1. My parents kindly gifted me with a new car
  2. I got a job after eight months of being unemployed
  3. camped for the first time
  4. I purchased a DSLR (Nikon D5600)
  5. I traveled to six new cities, one being international
  6. I went to two concerts and a musical (Ariana Grande, Jingle Ball 2017, Kinky Boots)
  7. I joined the newsletter committee on my team at work
  8. I strengthened my relationship with my mom exponentially
  9. I started video editing
  10. I stopped feeding into unhealthy and one-sided relationships

Those are just the main, compact-version of the highlights of 2017, and while they may be simple, they brought me pure, uninterrupted joy. Continue reading “Good Riddance, 2017”