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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School Year Resolutions

Well hello there!

If you know anything about me, you know that I am a huge fan of two things:

inspiration, and organization.

So when I stumbled across this blog, you know I was double excited.

For her blog  A Glitter Affair, Chantel wrote a post about her New Semester Resolutions. She shares some awesome tips about getting excited and organized for the new school year, or the new semester.

I thought this was an absolutely fantastic idea. So I wrote a list myself! Here are my School Year Resolutions.

DIVIDER

Academic Resolutions:

+ Homework before play, always. Some people are most motivated to do their work right after class. Some need time to unwind. I’ve bounced between the two, as my study habits have changed from semester-to-semester depending on what kind of classes I am in. And as of last semester? I am the latter of the two. When I get home from school and work, looking at my 50 page reading is the last thing I want to do. I find myself diving into my work anyways, only half focused, reading things over and over because it’s not what I really want to be doing. I think I’m helping myself by making myself getting it done, but I’m really only wasting precious time. Prevent this by giving yourself a 30-minute-free-for-all. When you get out of class, give yourself a 30 minute break to snack, watch TV, relax on the quad, whatever. When those 30 minutes are up, do your work. Like Chantel, I am going to put my phone in a completely different room, and study. When you finish, you’ll be glad you have the rest of the day to relax.

+ Break it up. Rather than reading a whole chapter the day before it’s due, read a little bit each day, and stick to it. It’s less dreadful.

+ Stop jumping around. Focus on one task, complete it, then move on to the next. It saves you so much unneeded stress.

+ If you need help, just fricking ask. That’s what teachers and tutors are there for.

+ It’s going to be hard, but read the chapter before you go to class. Chantel had the bright suggestion to highlight all of the concepts you don’t understand, and write down any specific questions you may have. Then you have a basic knowledge of the material, and you might even be a little bit more engaged in what’s going on.

+ Everyone loves new things, okay? Figure out what school supply gets you excited, and get a new one. Just call me highlighter happy.

+ RE-find your study place. One semester, it was outside at a table under a tree. Another semester, it was at a desk in the corner of the library. A different semester, it was in my room. It may take a few times of shopping around to see which spot suits you best. When you find it, stick with it. But here’s the key. When you start getting bored of it, don’t force yourself to stay there. That’s a fatal mistake. You’ll lose concentration, and you will waste your time. Find a new spot again. You’ll look forward to studying, and you’ll actually stay focused.

+ Make study guides as you go. At the end of every chapter. For every test. Don’t wait until finals week to create study guides. It’ll make hell week a little more bearable. 10 chapters x 5 classes + 1 week to do it? You solve that equation.

 

Health Resolutions:

+ Do not stay up until 3AM every night. Just don’t.

+ Really, don’t stay up until 3AM every night.

+ Listen to your body. Don’t push yourself. Nourish it. Take care of it. It’s the only one you have.

+ I want to really take care of my hair this year. I want to let it grow out, so I’m going to work on keeping it healthy.

+ Drink more water. I don’t want my insides to look like SpongeBob inside of Sandy’s dome anymore. Drink some when you get up, and drink some before you go to bed. Carry a water bottle around with you all day. You’ll be more inclined to drink it. Pinky up.

+ You like to dance. So dance. Take one zumba/world beat/cardio dance party class every week. Just one. It’s fun. You let off some steam. And you never not feel great afterwards. It’s a win/win, really.

 

Work Resolutions:

I have an on-campus job as the student videographer and photographer at my university’s career and academic planning center. This will be my second year working there, and I absolutely love it.

+ Be a great team member.

+ Be a great leader.

+ Leave your school stress at home, and your work stress at work. Whatever you do, do not cross the two. I’m going to have to really buckle down on this one.

+ Continue to be organized at work. I print out a monthly calendar from Google, and put it on the front of my work binder to see all the important dates and fairs coming up. In my school planner, I choose one color for my work events/dates, and write them down there as well.

+ There’s a new Dunkin’ Donuts on the first floor, but try not to eat everything.

 

Social Resolutions:

+ It’s my junior year, but I want to continue to be open to meeting people. Not even for the sake of friendship, but because people are interesting in general. Engage with the stranger on the bus. Talk to the person sitting next to you in class. Everyone has a story to tell. Take time to hear it. Take time to learn. You might find friends in the most unlikely places.

And I’m in two already, but…

+ Join one more club. Just one. I might want to shoot my foot off, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I have found the more you are involved with your school, the more you love it.

 

DIVIDER

 

Now, I know many people are turned away just by the idea of resolutions. They are convinced they never last, or that they are just for show. But I am convinced that anything and everything is possible. If you want it bad enough, and if you truly have a desire to better yourself, it can most definitely happen- no questions asked. If you stumble a few times, hey, that’s life. Just keep on trying. It’s been done before, and it can be done again. You are not the exception. You can do it too, just like everyone else. No matter how small, or how big the goal is.

 

This is a clean slate for you. Take advantage of it.

 

I hope these tips and ideas from myself as well as Chantel have been helpful to you. I know I’m going to print out my list and smack it on my cork board above my desk! Leave a comment below, or create a list of your own resolutions. Writing down your goals make them more real, more visible, and more attainable. I can’t wait to hear them!

 

I wish you the best of luck going into the next semester.

 

Cheers to the new year!

 

To check out my new blog, click here.

YOURSTRULYMIA

 

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