Sweet Reads

Sweet Reads || May

Hello again, sweet friend!

I’m a fan of celebrating something on its way out the door. Bidding it farewell. Wishing it the best. I’m here today to say thanks to May and send it off with love, until next year.

There’s something about May. It feels like beginning again, yea? No matter where you’re stationed, the snow is melting and dust is being swept away. Windows are opening, and seemingly, so are hearts. That’s the beauty of seasons. It’s not just about what’s happening outside. Something within you changes, too. And I love to see it on everyone’s faces. Say hi to a stranger in the street. Leave a sandwich on the sidewalk for someone who can’t afford one. Call an old friend to wish them a beautiful day. We talk about sharing material things. Why not share a slice of your happiness with someone else, too?

Here are 10 articles and other fun things that have helped me along this month. Click one or click all. As always, let me know if you have any feedback on how this letter to you can be better for you. Do you like the idea of splitting the reads up by category? Or leaving it as is? Let me know. Leave a comment with your own May favorites and invite a friend over. Welcome to this little corner. Hang up your jacket and get cozy. You’re welcome here. Love you, reader. xx

MAY

May’s Quote:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” ― Steve Jobs

Image of the Month:

Image created by @thefinancialdiet

My sticky says “Create your own show” and it’s clinging to my desk right now. Every day I take a little step towards this, whether it’s piecing together fragments of written ideas or creating YouTube videos as practice. Choose something specific. It makes the idea more tangible and obtainable. Hey, man. Don’t just treat yo self. Inspire yo self. (Will I regret saying this? Probably.)

Music of the Month:

Lizzo. If you haven’t been listening to her, I’m sorry for your loss. She is the definition of feel good music, and her soulful pop tunes can get you out of any and every funk you’ve been experiencing. Check out “Good As Hell” and “Fitness” …you can thank me later. Toot toot. Hay. Beep beep.

Reads of the Month:

+ “If You’ve Ever Majorly Screwed Up At Work, You’re Not Alone.”

I think I almost died while reading this. Seriously. I laughed so hard that I cried tears. Actual tears. There is photographic evidence. I mean, accidentally serving your boss cleaning acid? I screamed. These are some seriously amazing individuals for putting their worst moments on the internet. Thank you for that.

+ “My Friend Is Jealous Of My Success!”

How to identify real friendships is the toughest lesson I’m learning this year, especially after moving across the country. I’m finding more and more individuals around my age are learning this, too. This column helped. “There’s absolutely no rule that says you have to keep messy people in your life. Not one. You are not required to maintain friendships with people who make you feel unsafe or bad about who or where you are. It seems obvious to say that the people you choose to have in your life should champion, love, and support you.” Jennifer Romolini lays out how to take stock of a friendship. And it may require taking some responsibility.

+ “31 Morning Journaling Prompts That Will Change The Way You Think”

This is the perfect article to open before starting fresh next month. While I don’t journal in the traditional sense, I make an effort to self reflect whenever possible; you can, too! These prompts will get you going in the right direction and inspire you to think deeply about where you stand and where you want to go from here. Happy life-ing!

+ “6 Easy Ways To Develop Confidence And Be More Like Tony Stark”

I think Ross Simmonds was in my head when he wrote this article. I mean, I’ll watch a superhero movie from time to time but he just gave me a whole new perspective on the character. Unlike other heroes, Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) created his superpowers. “The way Tony Stark carries himself has a direct impact on how we as the viewers perceive him.” The exact same is true for all of us.  Slow. Down. Don’t be afraid to pause – to think and speak deliberately. Control your reactions, and don’t let them control you. Understand your strengths, because “If you don’t know what you’re bad at, you can’t truly understand what you’re actually good at.” Even think about dying — this is your reminder that your time on this earth is precious. Yep. All right here, folks.

+ “Mad & Abby Take On The USA”

Full disclaimer: Madelynne is a dear friend who also happens to be a talented writer and certified sweetheart. This documentation of the first leg of her cross-country trip gave me chills. If you’re gearing up for summer, this is the read for you. She reminds me that it’s okay to be obsessed with astrology, keep incoherent notes scattered in your phone, and fling your arms open in the sun. Don’t take this gift of life for granted. It’s not just about making spontaneous decisions, but creating spontaneous moments. When you open yourself up to the beauty of life, adventure finds you. As Madelynne put it: “It felt like I was hugging the universe and the universe was hugging me right back.” It gave me this warm sense of hope, and I wanted to share that same feeling with you all. I promise, you can’t read this and not smile. Fly darling, fly.

+”Exactly What To Say To Customer Service Reps To Save Thousands”

When I was little, I used to get mad at my mom for returning overcooked food at a restaurant or speaking out when service wasn’t great… all because it was embarrassing. As I get older, I’m starting to understand why saying something is so important — you are spending your hard earned money and deserve what you paid for! In recent months, I’ve gotten a refund for an awful flight, a gift card for ruined food, and a month of internet for free after technical issues. Be persistent (but kind!) when you know you didn’t get the service or product you deserved. This article will teach you how to go about the process.

+ “How To Immediately Refresh Your Brain To Restore High Level Thinking”

We calm our friends down when they’re overwhelmed, and hype them up when they’re lazy — so why don’t we do that for ourselves? Thomas Oppong knows what’s up. In this read, he teaches us a few helpful tips. Recognize and name your state of mind. The other week I was upset over a few things at once. I wrote every situation down in a few words, and knighted each with one word (E.g. Jealousy. Love. Enthusiasm. Insecurity). Once I identified what was at the root of each issue, I realized how silly the negative emotions were so they naturally began to dissipate, and I let the positive emotions emerge because they felt good. Sounds hippie dippie. But try it. For real. Schedule blocks of time for different modes of thinking. As Oppong says, “Idleness is not a vice, it is indispensable for making those unexpected connections in the brain you crave and necessary to getting creative work done.” In simpler terms, your brain solves your most complex issues for you when you give it space to breathe and wander off. Finally: Schedule purposeful breaks. Go hard, but also… go home. Seriously. You can’t practice or work all day, every day. Pace yourself! I’m experimenting right now with doing “on weeks” and “off weeks,” because slaving over the same personal project after work for one hour a day, every single day, every single week made me feel mentally burned out. I’ll humbly admit — I’m impatient. But I’m taking advantage of that. Now I spend an entire week pouring my heart into one project for as long as I can until it’s finished, and take a break the following week by meeting up with friends and sitting in bed (doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING) for as long as I please. Much. Better. I encourage you to find what works for you!

+ “The Making of Meghan Markle”

If this doesn’t make you fall in love with Meghan Markle even more, I don’t know what will. “The choices made in these rooms,” Markle wrote during her reign in Hollywood, “trickle into how viewers see the world, whether they’re aware of it or not.” The role of media and entertainment in our society right now is the most prominent it’s ever been, and Meghan was never shy when it came to speaking up about it. This article highlights that Aaron Korsh, the creator of “Suits,” is biracial like Meghan and wanted to honor her identity in the show. This is why we need more showrunners and creators and writers of varying backgrounds: to lift up members of traditionally excluded racial groups by creating more roles that young people will see and relate to. Equally as important: it gives people who aren’t typically exposed to a certain group the chance to learn about their lives a truthful way. I loved that this article used Meghan as a positive example in the racial identity conversation. “When it comes to issues of race, gender, sexuality and class, how much can Meghan Markle say and do?” Margo Jefferson asked. I’m curious to see how this conversation will fit into Meghan’s new role as Duchess, too.

+ “This Woman’s List Of ‘Realistic’ Ways To Help During A Panic Attack Might Be The Most Useful Thing On The Internet Today.”

May is Mental Health Month! I recommend this list not only to people who suffer from panic attacks, but to anyone with someone close to them that suffers from this disorder (40 million adults in America). I began experience chronic panic attacks when I was in the fifth grade. I remember being terrified because no one my age was having them. I’d have to leave school early and would feel embarrassed when I felt the need to remove myself from a room because of this terrifying, all-consuming feeling coming over me. I couldn’t explain what the feeling was or why I was having it because no one talked about this kind of thing. I thought I was the only one, and I’m glad to know now that I’m not. My mom was always so sweet and helpful although she didn’t quite understand it herself — that is — until she began experiencing them herself in her early 30s. Educate yourself on how to help, because you never know when it could happen to you or someone around you. We got this, y’all. It’s been 10+ years for me, so I’ve gotten quite good at taming them when they do happen. If you need any help or advice or just want to feel less alone about it, leave a comment or email me, and I’d love to chat!

+ “Brain Fog? Back Pain? This Trick Can Help You Be More Productive And Feel Better Fast”

Listen when I tell you I can’t do Yoga for shit. That’s why this is amazing. It truly does help you feel relaxed, and it takes less than a minute! Magic. Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

*All quotes by the writers are quoted, bolded, or italicized. I am not earning money from this post, nor is it sponsored.

That’s all for the second edition of this Sweet Reads party. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you have for this new monthly thang. Thanks for reading, sweet friends! Cheers to you.

INSTAGRAM: @yourstrulymia

TWITTER: @hotmessmia

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Sweet Reads

Sweet Reads || April

Hi there, you.

1. Do you ever feel like each month has a personality of its own? A mind of its own? A world of its own? Keep reading.

2. Do you hoard things? Sometimes words or thoughts? Join the club.

3. Did you miss me? I’m back with yet another new idea. This time, a series. Reads of the month. Sweet reads, actually. There may be a more creative name in the near future, but sometimes short and sweet (not intended but I guess now it is) does the best job. I think I like it.

I don’t know if I’m starting this out of fondness or a slight obsessive compulsive tendency. I love my email inbox. It’s one of my favorite places. More and more newsletters and subscriptions fill this space, and I read them all. As a person who loves stories and advice and lists and ideas, I wanted to create a little home where I can document and share my thoughts on these precious pieces and why I thought about them for hours and even days after I read them. Each month I’ll compile a few of my favorites that I’ve stumbled upon.

There’s no rules here. Read them all, or read one that catches your eye (or heart). Share it with friends or keep it all to yourself. Don’t forget to leave some of your own April favorites in the comments and tell me which one of these you like, too. I’d love to hear any feedback you have to make this better. I love you, reader. Thanks for stopping by. xx

A P R I L

April’s Quote:

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” ― Shirley Chisholm

Image of the Month:

Illustrated by @bymariandrew

I’ve spent the past month thinking about a lot of stupid things that, in hindsight, has wasted a lot of my precious time. Tyler, a friend of mine, introduced me to this amazing Instagram artist last month. I love all of her illustrations; she is just so darn cute and relatable. This one in specific got me thinking. No more being angry at my roommate for a week’s worth of unwashed dishes. No more being upset at myself for that thing I didn’t say four years ago. No more gabbing about that one project that I want to do, but haven’t (because I’m gabbing about it instead of doing it). Every time I’m anxious or mad or worried, I’m no longer going to count to ten like a five-year-old. That’s ollllld news. Instead, I’ll count how many hours of my life I won’t get back like the twenty-three-year-old I am. Will it matter this time next year? Absolutely not. Can I take control of the situation? Then I will. We’ve got one life to live, my  sweet friends. And if that’s not true, I’d like to come back as a butterfly please and thank you.

Reads of the Month:

+ 35 Things To Do For Your Career By 35 

This read made me feel empowered to prepare for my future now. Finding my superpower (Did you know it’s not always a skill, but often times a trait?). Making a list of my non-negotiables. Being able to articulate my goals + sell my professional self and ideas. These are things I haven’t put a ton of thought into, but now I will. Thanks, The Muse.

+ First comes the wedding. Then comes marriage.

Hannah Brencher is a wonderful soul. And this is why I can’t get enough of her writing. Readers send her letters and she answers with her own stories and the lessons she’s learned from them. I’m not getting hitched any time soon, but boy oh boy was this breathtaking. This reminds me that choice is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Whether it’s your person, your friends, your faith, or your life. You get to choose every day. My favorite thing she says: “I am learning if I spend every single day seeking to make people feel loved, chosen and special then I can never lose. I can never really say a day is wasted.” Amazing. Also a burger truck and an old library? Ideal.

+ Let it go.

“That’s what you have to do with fear over and over again: you have to learn to let it go.” Clearly I love me some Hannah Brencher because here she is again. In this read, she reminds me to forgive myself like I forgive others, name my fear by calling it out of the dark and into the light (“You can look at it from several angles and know the truth”), and crush my fears by not putting my faith in the enemy – all things I needed to hear this past month. How would our lives look if we built out of love instead of fear? How would our relationships flourish? Would we be stronger? Braver? Happier? Great questions. I’ll get back to you on that, Hannah.

+ How to be more confident. 

This article by Susie Moore had me in my feels, because I sure needed to brush up on this topic. There were SO many gems here. Moore tells us that the most confident people tune out their inner critic and turn up their inner coach. Confident people A) Know failure is inevitable, so they don’t fear it, B) Laugh more because life is short, and C) Have vision for their lives and focus on what they do want rather than what they don’t. “I love. I do. I can.” She says,“When you use stronger, more intentional language, it impacts your mood, your confidence, and even how other people perceive you.” They sit taller, do them, and stand strong. Confidence is your call; it’s a decision because no one is born with it. Confidence is taking control of your own life. Maybe it’s Maybelline. But more than 90% is Confidence.

+ My Boss Sucks Sometimes – Can I Tell Her?

Let me clear: my boss doesn’t suck. I actually like my bosses a lot. But I love a juicy advice column read. This one by Jessica Romolini caught my eye then captured my conscious because confrontation is something I struggle with. I’m either waaaay too confrontational or not confrontational enough. I’m really bad at finding that middle ground and I’m working on it. What is your motivation for correcting someone? Is it because they made you feel small at some point, or because it’s the right thing to do? Getting clear on why you want to correct someone, then focusing on the problem and not the person is crucial – whether it’s inside or outside of work.

+ 4 Big Reasons I Quit My Job To Build Girls Night In

I’ve started getting this newsletter in my inbox every Friday, and it’s a pure treat. Alisha Ramos outlines the four questions she began asking herself over and over, and how she took it upon herself to explore those questions and turn it into a business that could benefit other women. In four months the community grew 17x, 95% of new readers found out about GNI from a friend (word of mouth works, people!), and they receive 3 job applications a week. I’m a real sucker for a fun success story. It reminds me that anything is possible. It gives me hope for my own business endeavors.

+ The 100 Best Movies on Netflix

Thank you, Jason Bailey. This might be the best list I’ve found this month. You will literally never run out of things to watch. Like ever. I mean, there’s 100. And get this: IT’S UPDATED REGULARLY AS TITLES COME AND GO. Is this a dream? (I watched Up In The Air with Dan for the first time this weekend after taking a peek at this list… it was amazing.)

+ There is no that.

“The reward for the work is the work itself.” Mike Coyle writes music to my ears. For any business person, creative, or everyday person suffering from FOMO – you absolutely need to read this. There will always be some seemingly amazing thing happening with seemingly amazing people outside of where you are. But that moment ends for them. And this one will end for you if you’re not here. He says: “I wish someone had told me that it was the work, that the highs would be brief and bright and over, and then it was the grind. I wish they had told me, because there will be times when the grind itself must be the thing that drives you. You have to love the effort divorced from the result.” Is your pay off people? Is it moments? This article reminded me to keep my work honest and to keep doing the work I love. In the end – that’s what you have when you’ve climbed the mountain and return back down. You have this amazing thing you created. That’s enough.

*All quotes by the writers are quoted, bolded, or italicized. I am not earning money from this post.

This party is just getting started, so I would greatly appreciate any feedback you have for this new monthly thang. Let me know below. Thanks for reading, sweet friends! Cheers to you.

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