Blogging

Funny…I’m blogging about blogging. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t giggle a little at myself. Why you may ask, am I blogging about blogging? Because it’s so dang hard! I mean, let’s really think about it: You spend your time as a blogger (any type of blogger, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, etc.) coming up with ideas and things to write about. You may get writer’s block (me basically all the time it feels like) or simply tire of blogging. It can be exhausting to blog. Depending on the blog itself, any given post could be emotionally draining, or very hard to write due to content. It takes special people, who are willing to open up to literally the world, and who have no problem sharing their personal opinions, or beliefs. Now, I’m not just saying all of this to make myself feel or look good- I think that I have so much to learn about blogging and how to really make sure I keep up with it and fit it into my life.

It takes discipline, dedication, hard work, and a fair share of openness and honestly. It also requires you to be vulnerable. Real talk: The internet is a tough place. Yes, there is freedom in that you can say whatever you want, but then on the flip side, there are mean people out there who can also have the freedom to say whatever they want to you and about what you are saying; It can be immensely hurtful and sometimes carry into your personal life. You may not know the person who called you names, but it feels like they know you and like they are attacking you personally all for the sole purpose of entertainment.

Sorry, that was a rabbit trail…but in all seriousness, blogging about really anything opens the writer to a world of harsh critics, who they don’t even know. That, in my opinion, makes you, the blogger, brave. You are carrying on even though you have perhaps heard a  harsh word or comment. Perhaps someone doesn’t like your opinion on politics or how you care for your child. Nevertheless, you continue to press on and keep on writing whatever makes you happy. That, my friend, makes you brave. Don’t forget that.

Another thing that, at least for me, always seems to get in the way of blogging is my schedule. I applaud all the bloggers that have posts up in a timely manner! I can’t seem to get a schedule down at all. It’s basically if I have time, and if then, if I feel like it? I know that sounds awful, but it’s just the honest truth. Sometimes I think “Oh, I have time today to blog…but it’s such a beautiful day outside…” I end up putting my blogging off to go outside with my puppy and husband! I know it’s never a bad thing to put family first, but I would like to prove to myself that I can have a balance between family time and blogging- so any tips or tricks that you would be willing to share, would be amazing!

All I know is, after the initial excitement of having a blog wears off, it becomes really difficult to keep up with it. So to all you bloggers out there: Keep doing what you’re doing! Stay brave, and never let anyone intimidate you! Your blog is YOUR little slice of the internet- no one can bully you there ❤

Much love,

Tori

The Greatest Showman: The Musical We Needed

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!

Seriously…if you haven’t seen this don’t read!!!

You have been warned…

This movie was MIND-BLOWING. It was breathtaking…oh my gosh. I haven’t been this impressed with a musical movie since Les Miserables. (I’m seriously a Broadway fanatic) There are so many things that I could say about this movie, but for this post, I’m going to focus on a few key lessons I took away from it.

-Having a low self-esteem is not uncommon, and you CAN overcome it.

I have always struggled with my self-esteem…it started in middle school, and still haunts me today. Being body conscious is something I think every woman in America has felt at least one time or another in their life. I am no exception. I was always labeled thick, chubby, and fat. I told myself all of the usual things like, I’m big boned, or I’m not that fat, right? I would go to the mall and people watch, comparing myself to others, and wishing for a body that was not my own. I was constantly teased, for my brown skin, and curvy body type. I felt isolated and truthfully felt ugly. In The Greatest Showman, they took people who were different, felt ugly, or considered outcasts, and showed them that they are worth so much more than what society thinks. This really resonated with my inner, still self-conscious, middle-schooler self…I think I actually teared up a little. #ThisIsMe (Keala Settle is THE best. Go listen to her EP!!)

-Dreaming is the first step to living your best life. But it takes courage…

I mean come on! Barnum took a dream he had when he was a kid, and made it a reality. If that’s not bravery and inspiring, I don’t know what is. Your dream could become your future reality! I know I always have tried to dismiss some of my dreams… But I’m starting to realize if I was only brave enough to act on them out even try to set things in motion… They might just come true. When I was little, I wanted to sing. I love singing! Everytime I sing, I feel so free and so joyful. It’s a feeling I don’t think I could accurately explain. All I know is, singing to me, is true happiness. So you know what? Maybe I should have some courage. So should you! Take a few minutes and try to recall a dream you once had, or if you’ve done this, GO YOU!!! Reflect on your accomplishments and bravery!

-Skin color should NOT affect who you marry. 

Racism is a sensitive topic and one that you hear about way too often in today’s news. Too many times people have commented on how I married a white man. How I brought his “status” down. Too many times I have been judged on that difference in skin color. “Why didn’t you marry one of your own kind?”, I was asked by one person…I’m sorry? Since when did I marry an alien? He IS one of my own kind! We are ALL humans. Equal in rank and status no matter what color our skin is. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only aliens out there are people who think there is an inferior race. It’s people like that who really make me question my faith in humanity, you know? But in this wonderful movie, that faith is restored; When Phillip’s (Zac Efron’s character) parents treat Anne Wheeler (Zendaya’s character) with disdain, Phillip stands up for her in the most meaningful way.

I love how this film simply told the story of a man who had a dream, and with his family, he conquered trials, and temptations, and along the way, made others feel like they had a family. I could say so much more about this film, but I won’t because YOU NEED TO GO SEE IT AND FIND OUT MORE FOR YOURSELF. (And if you’ve seen it already, then hey! Go again! I know I am…) If you’ve seen it, comment below and feel free to share your thoughts on it! If any of what I said also applies to you, comment, comment, comment! I would love to hear your stories!

Much love,

Tori xo

Changing Your Mind: It’s Okay!

Have you ever made a choice but afterward felt as though you made the wrong one? This is one habit I excel at…which, I know isn’t the best; However, I’m pretty sure it’s saved me from making bigger mistakes in life. Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself!

When I was younger, I always said I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. I knew I wanted to help others and be a caregiver, and that was what I thought would fulfill me. It’s what everyone always said I would be good at, and its “what I should do with my life”. So, that’s what I always told people I wanted to be, and everyone was very impressed and proud. That made me feel good like I was doing the right thing. Deep down though, I knew that something was off…I just couldn’t place my finger on it. Once I went off to college, the goal was to become an RN and be a career pediatric nurse. As time, semesters, and classes flew by, I started to realize the most horrifying thing I could have ever imagined: I don’t want this job. I don’t like what it entails. I’m not okay with this. I. Hate. This. CRAP. What now?!

The next few days involved lots of wine, praying, and crying over (what I thought was) wasted time, and money. Little did I know that this seemingly bad situation would lead me to not only deciding what I wanted to do, but it would also lead to a beautiful friendship. God knew what he was doing. I just wasn’t trusting that He knew what was best, silly me. Throughout the next couple of weeks, I learned that I had been gunning for the wrong dream. I was going for what everyone had told me I’d be good at…not what I actually wanted. Somehow I had been blind to it up until that point. So I started exploring my options, and finally made the choice of ST. Not only that, but I realized I was closer to a second degree as well: Science.

Having realized my actual passion, I jumped at every chance I got to take classes I needed. Coincidentally, those same classes went toward my Associate’s in Science as well! BAM! So changing my mind, heeding that “feeling in the pit of my stomach”, paid off. Let’s be real though: It was all God. I think He was basically like, “Okay kid, I love you, but you are going the COMPLETE opposite direction you’re supposed to be going, let me give you a nudge.” And that’s just what He did. Here I am today, going into the spring semester before applying! Woo!

I mentioned making a friend earlier, geez she’s great. I met her in my horrible BIO class, and we ended up being lab partners. (Went through the torture of our awful lab instructor together. It really bonded us I think.) It was so cool how much we had in common and how close we’ve gotten since that first day. 

My point in all this rambling is this: Changing your mind isn’t always a sign of indecisiveness. Sometimes, I think it actually is the smarter thing to do. It shows you’re double checking yourself and the path you’re taking. And that is never ever going to be a bad thing. In looking back, you may make that friend, or realize a dream you hadn’t before. Change shouldn’t cause fear or nervousness in your heart, rather excitement and anticipation of what amazing things are to come if those changes. If you run into change whether it be in academia or anything else for that matter…take a deep breath, have a glass of wine and pray for clarity. It will come, and you’ll be better for it in the end. 

Xo Tori 

(Soon to be Tori S.T.) 

New Year’s Goals

“What are your goals going to be in the New Year?” Gosh if I had a dollar for everytime someone asked me that…

Goals. Everyone has them. My question is why do we wait for the new year to roll around to make them? Yes, the coming of a new year is a special time, but why not set more goals throughout the year? So as not to put off those goals, and perhaps actually accomplish them. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have set goals for the new year, they last maybe a month. Then I slack, and eventually just don’t end up finishing them. Anyone else?? I think if we’re being honest, a lot more people are like that. It’s hard to keep with these new years resolutions! It’s like stopping a habit cold turkey; It usually only lasts for a short period of time and we then revert back to that habit.

Ever since I was little, I made new year’s resolutions that I always ended up breaking. Why? Well, everyone else did it, so I followed. However, everyone else also broke their resolutions…so I grew to realize that these so-called “resolutions” were just empty promises people made to make themselves feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I did it for YEARS. I remember feeling so bad about myself when I noticed I had stopped doing whatever resolution I had made. Stress and anxiety are two words that came along with resolutions for me.

As I got older, I thought it was dumb to make those promises when I knew all they really did was make me feel anxious and bad about myself in the end. So I asked myself the same question over and over: Why do I set these goals when I KNOW deep down they aren’t actually going to be completed? There could be a number of reasons: It feels good to set goals, it gives hope for the coming year, its what everyone else is doing and I want to fit in, maybe I fool myself into thinking THIS is the year I’ll keep the resolutions? You can insert any reason, but I’ve found that the ones above are the most common. I also have noticed that people choose resolutions that seem unattainable, which I’d bet, hurts them more in the long run. Just think about it: “My new year’s resolution is to get that raise and work a ton more so I can save more money!” Sounds great at first right? Sure! But let’s pick it apart:

  1. What do you have to do in order to “get that raise”? Could this be a resolution all on its own? Sounds like it could mean an awful lot of work!
  2. “Work a ton more”…That does not sound like an enjoyable goal. I bet you already work hard, why push even harder?? Maybe try to give your work your all while you’re there, instead of just giving more hours?
  3. “Save more money”…Okay, that’s a good goal! But do you HAVE to work a ton more, and get a raise to save more money? Absolutely NOT! Maybe take what you make now and try to budget it out so you can save some money from each paycheck instead of relying on a raise or more hours for that extra cash? (Enjoy that extra if you have it! Treat yo self!)

Yeah, so maybe that was a silly example, but do you follow me? Try not to give yourself overloaded resolutions if you’re going to make them. Try making them simple and don’t be too hard on yourself! Also, don’t get me wrong, if you want to make huge resolutions, you go for it! I’ll cheer you on! I just think it might be easier to break them down into smaller, more manageable goals! Over this past year, I decided to take a different approach. I made myself a list. A list of things I wanted to get done, and goals I wanted to meet, but I decided to pick only one ( eating healthier) and focus on that for a month. At the end of the month, I saw my progress, and felt great about continuing it over the next month! At the end of every month, I would see how I’d done, and contemplate whether or not to continue. I could also add on other goals at the end of each month, which always made me feel good! Honestly, what helped me was that there was a tangible end in sight. That really is what made each task less daunting. I’ve gotten so used to the system, that I can’t imagine doing it any other way. What’s super great about this method, is that it allows you to make that list of crazy things you want to do, but also allows you to actually accomplish them! (At a relaxed pace even!) So this new year I’ll make another one of my lists and start off January with only one thing.  It’s worked super well for me so far, and I am excited to carry it over into 2018.

If you have any fun systems, feel free to comment them below! I’d love to hear all about them!

Happy New Year everyone!

Tori xo

 

Exhaustion (Self Reflection)

It’s a word we all probably know pretty well. Only very recently have I been really understanding its effects. I am a student at a community college here in Charlottesville, working toward a profession in Surgical Technology. (Which is a switch from my previous track in nursing…but that’s another story) I just finished up my semester on the 18th, and honestly didn’t realize how drained I really was. Waking up has been ten times harder, I have felt like my head is in a fog, and just altogether off. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need me time. Something I rarely allow myself to have. Mostly because I work as a nanny 30-40 hours a week, am taking college classes, have a husband, and a home to try to keep up with… it’s HARD. I’m finding that I’m taking care of myself less, and just not caring whether I look put together or not. (If you know me, that isn’t normal. I don’t claim to always use eyeliner, but my outfits are at least usually decent haha!) My husband helps as much as he is able, geez, what a sweet guy! But there are still so many times I feel frazzled. I stress myself out WAY too much (Again, if you know me, I stress myself out way too much…its so bad.) I’m crashing and burning.

Why do I do this?? What’s my problem??

Well, looking back on these past few months, I’ve done so much…but never took a time-out, a break…nothing! Never took time to do the small things I love: naps, Netflix, painting, devotionals, yoga, all these potentially stress-relieving activities, and I didn’t do them?! My excuse for self-stress? “Life is just too busy!” Aren’t I the one doing the scheduling? I have been packing my life so full that I have forgotten how to BREATHE. To just relax and take time do and enjoy the little things that I have been missing so dearly! I’ve forgotten how to just be still.

In today’s culture, the normal speed of life is fast and it’s non-stop. It’s a vicious cycle that we’ve created. One that feels almost impossible to stop, but deep down, we all know we can, we just don’t. It blows my mind that not so long ago, family dinners every night were actually a thing!!! There was built in family time and personal time. We’ve progressively gotten worse at taking personal time and being still. To be still in my mind means that you take a moment, freeze it, and breathe. Trying to let all the stress and anxiety of the day go…and just enjoy the fact that you are even alive and functioning. It sounds crazy, I know, but it works. (At least for me it has!) If you’re anything like me, you’re packing your life full of stuff that really isn’t all that important. Do yourself a favor: Stop. Breathe. Go take a relaxing bath or shower, drink a glass of wine, and put your worn out self to bed early.

I’m going to try to challenge myself by taking 30 minutes each day, to just breathe, and do some of those little things that I love. You should try it too! Or any variation of it! You want to try an hour? Do it! I applaud you!! Whatever you decide, just remember: Everyone needs a little time to themselves now and again, or they will go crazy. Don’t go crazy, go eat some chocolate or something.

I’m going to sleep, peace out guys!

Tori xo