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

Let’s Get Personal

I have been apprehensive to write this post. It is never easy opening up about personal struggles especially in a world where people my age have so much. I can already feel and hear the “What do you have to complain about? Millennials always want something for nothing,” sneers, but this is not complaining–this is a validation of my own feelings and experiences. I knew that I had been wanting to write something more personal while I have been on a second fly-atus, and funnily enough, it took listening to a track off of Ariana Grande’s new album, Sweetener, called “get well soon” to push me to write it. So today, I want to open up about where I have been mentally in the last three or so months.

I tried to articulate my feelings about my life in a post last year, but I have since deleted that post because I felt that I focused too much on trying to make it translatable to my readers rather than just being honest. However, I feel exactly the same now as I did then: stuck, disappointed, and unmotivated. I find myself in this mood more often in the summer months which really is a contrast to the common feelings toward summer: happiness, freedom, fun, etc. For me, it is a time when I am reminded of my physical insecurities which makes me feel uncomfortable in my clothes; which prevents me from wanting to socialize; which makes me stay indoors by myself; which further leads me down a spiral of being stuck with my negative thoughts about my choices with my life.

In a reflection about turning 24, I discuss how I am learning to accept that my youth is not over. People my age, including myself, freak out about getting closer to 30 because we have idealized that 30 is the age when everything should be in place. When you realize that 18 and 30 are the same distance away from 24, you are reminded of how much time has passed and how quickly you have been catapulted into a life of responsibility and routine. So when I am currently spending my three-day weekends sitting at a friend’s house in a different state (which is not as common as people think) or sitting at home doing absolutely nothing, I am torn between enjoying relaxing, and feeling guilty for not being out and living life to the fullest as a young 20-something. These feelings of confusion over what I “should be” doing are not new. Continue reading “Let’s Get Personal”

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

Reclaiming My Time

Reclaiming My Time

I know this year has been so inconsistent in terms of my writing. I have had a lot of ups and downs and have mostly lost my inspiration, creativity, and zest for blogging. I will write more about that in an upcoming post, but I will still apologize to the few readers I have out there for being MIA. I have had two trips since my last travel post in Chicago, but I used both trips to disconnect and just be somewhere other than home while spending quality time with my closest friends. From my last post, you could probably feel that my mood has been out of whack for a little while now. Still, I am trying to be proactive about working on that by tackling my first and most important obstacle: time.
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In my short 23 years of life, I haven’t fully grasped that feeling of ‘not having enough time.’ Sure, there have been many moments that I wished could last forever or wishing I had an extra day before an event, a test, etc., but I have always been someone who is on top of things. I never adopted procrastination in any of my education levels and never desired feeling that pressure–or rush, for some–of watching the time run out and seeing if I could accomplish the bare minimum. It is honestly something I am proud of. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, I constantly have issues with time in terms of centering in on the past and the future. Continue reading “Reclaiming My Time”