I’m not entirely sure how to start this post. I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for several minutes now looking for the perfect words to launch into what I want to say. I’m not even completely sure that I know what I’m trying to say either. But I’m going to go with it and see how it works out. 

When I went to university, I was inundated with advice from just about every direction. From parents to friends, to strangers I had just met. Everyone had opinions to share on virtually any college related situation I was bound to come across. It was like Pinterest, but in real life. 

I was overwhelmed, and scared, and excited, and probably felt a plethora of other emotions I can’t even remember now. But one thing that stood out was the advice claiming that all I had to do was be myself and people would like me because I was such a great person. 

The flaw, I came to find, in this advice was that it was hinged on the notion that being liked by people was some sort of epicenter of the college experience. It was as if I wouldn’t possibly survive college if people didn’t like me. This information caused me a lot of internal turmoil. I questioned it incessantly, my biggest question being:


What if being myself caused people not to like me?


Unbeknownst to me, the “be yourself” line was also a mechanism people used to make sure I stayed in my place. Not  in any sort of mean or derogatory way—at least, I hope not—but so that they could keep track of me. It was to stunt my growth. 

I came across this very realization, and was reminded of it whenever I came home for the summer and was told of how I had “changed” and how I wasn’t who I used to be. These words were hurtful, and filled me with guilt. I, thinking I was progressing, becoming a more independent and responsible version of myself, started to doubt myself and my perceived progress. 

How many tears had I shed over people not liking me in middle school? Was I to repeat this pattern in university? Of course not. How many times did I stand in front of the mirror before school in high school wondering if the outfit I had on would be approved by my peers? Should I have been thinking the same things all these years later? Absolutely not.

I am a compulsive people pleaser by nature. I like making the people around me happy. I like making the people around my smile. I like making the people around me laugh. I like making the people around me proud. But when I went to college, there was a major shift in my thinking, and it may sound selfish, but I wanted to do these things for me more than for other people. 

I wanted to make myself happy.

I wanted to make myself smile.

I wanted to make myself laugh.

I wanted to make myself proud. 

And over the past two years that I’ve been in university, I’ve been doing these things. And in doing so, I became less of the person others expected and wanted me to be and more of the person I want to be. I want to be a person 10 year old me would be proud of. 

I am not sorry that I have made mistakes, because I grew from them. I am not sorry that I cried, because I learned to rely on myself and wipe my own tears. I am not sorry that I fell, because I learned to stand up by and for myself. I am not sorry I changed, because I’m genuinely working hard to be a better me every single day. 

It occurred to me that I may not be the only person feeling this way and if you are feeling similarly, I want you to know that I am standing right next to you. We’re in this together. It might not even be a change due to college. Maybe you just had a baby. Maybe you moved to a different city. Maybe you just turned a certain age and see life differently and therefore choose to live it differently. 

It’s okay to change even if others aren’t okay with your change. You’ve got to grow a little to glow a little, you know? 

And you’ve got to do it unapologetically. 


*****
My fingers were racing across the keyboard as I wrote this and I don’t want to review/revise this post because I don’t want to take any of it out. I want you all to know that I mean everything that’s written above 100%. I hope you know that you never have to be sorry for changing for the better. 

Do you, boo.

6.24.2017

Why I’m Unapologetic About Having “Changed” in College (& Why You Should Be Too)


Vaseline Intensive Care
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with Vaseline. As a child, they lathered me with the jelly version until I just glistened. I was a beacon of perfect skin. No jokes. 

But around when I hit puberty and started menstruating, I couldn’t use it anymore because my skin was just producing oil in excess and instead of glistening, I looked greasy. Ew. 

It wasn’t a good look. 

I didn’t have pimples but my face was just so slick and shiny all the time—and not in a good way. So, I shied away from Vaseline almost entirely. 

I couldn’t stay away, though. You’ll be hard pressed to find a Vaseline product that I haven’t tried. From the Jelly, to the Intensive Care line, to the Lip Therapy, and in a pinch, Vaseline Men, I’ve tried it all.  

The Intensive Care Essential Healing lotion is by far my favorite. It doesn’t apply thick, but you know that all your bases are being covered. It has a subtle smell, and quite frankly, if my epidermis could talk, it would thank me every day.

'Chic Happens' Notebook
I got this notebook from Target not too long ago. The blue was so subtle, and the gold leaf ‘Chic Happens’ called to me, so it quickly found a home in my shopping basket. 

I’m a sucker for notebooks, and honestly, when I bought it, I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do with it, but I just knew that I had to have it. 

I started using it as a prayer journal though, because I realized that I’m much more accountable in my prayer life when I write my prayers down. It’s sturdy, it gets the job done, and it’s super cute. 10 out of 10 from me!

The Body Shop Soap
Obviously, The Body Shop knows what they’re doing. This shea soap is still in the wrapper, but everything that came in this shea gift set is just amazing. The smell is so lovely and it’s all highly moisturizing. So I can’t wait to open this baby up and use it. 

Black Radiance Bronzer
When I tell people that I’ve obsesses with a little highlight—well, a lot of highlight—they think I’m kidding. But trust me, I’m all about it. This Black Radiance bronzer has been on my face on almost every time I wear makeup. 

On my cheeks, on my nose, on my cupids bow, on my brow bone, on my…you get the point. This one is just the right shade so that I can also use it on my eyes as a shimmery shadow.  I love it! 

6.18.2017

A Few Of My Favorite Things


I've been home for a little over a month now and I’ve finally settled into my old sleeping routine—cue the angel harmony. Since it’s finally summer, I know that a bunch of you will be jet setting to vacation spots around the world. 

If your vacation destination is a few hours ahead or behind of your current time zone, I’m willing to bet that you’re going to experience a little jet lag. Since I’m the self-professed jet lag fairy *waves wand dramatically* and I have a few tips that might just come in handy for you!


1| Don't Sleep Before the Flight
I know this one just doesn’t sound right, but hear me out. Have you ever been on a 14 hour flight? I have, and trust me it sucked. I had listened to the advice people gave me about being well rested before my flight. 

All that did for me was make sure that I was wide awake for majority of the flight.

There’s only so much in-flight entertainment one can handle before going a little paranoid that the 14 hours is seemingly dragging on forever. So what do I recommend? Stay up. 

Not to the point of exhaustion of course, but enough that you can take a healthy nap during the flight and won’t be stuck wondering why the 3 episodes of 2 Broke Girls on your screen aren’t even from the same season.

2| Sleep On The  Plane
If you followed tip number one and make it onto your flight without falling asleep at the gate, three cheers for you, you can finally sleep! Sleeping during a flight makes the trip seem shorter somehow (probably has to do with the lack of wakefulness). 

It also allows you to begin preliminary adjustments to your sleep schedule (more on this in a few).

Before you doze off, make sure your seatbelt is fastened and your luggage is stowed. If you want to be woken up when meals come around, I suggest you alert the person sitting next to you. 

You don’t know how many times I’ve woken up and the food and drink carts have already made their rounds.

3| Stay Hydrated
It’s so, so, so important to drink water during flights. Nothing will wake you up faster than a parched mouth. Ask a flight attendant for some water—not soda, not juice, but water—before you get into some serious z’s. 

Hydration really isn’t a game, and you’ll feel so much better for it.

You can usually get away with not drinking enough water while you’re on land but in the air, especially at the altitudes planes cruise at, you’ll really just dry up like a prune. 

Dehydration while flying is not comfortable, it’s not cute, and honestly, it’s not necessary.

4| Don't Arrive at Night 
Whenever I book tickets, I make it a point not to arrive at night. Think about it, I stayed up so that I could sleep as much as possible on the plane. What good would arriving at night, when sleep tends to happen, do? 

I like to arrive in the mornings or early afternoons. So if your departure/arrival dates are flexible, try to get on the flight that allows you to arrive at your destination during the day so that you can…

5| Do Stuff
You’re on vacation! Do stuff!! Get your activities rolling as soon as you get off the flight. See the sights, get some food, drink some non-water (I know you’ve been waiting on it!), settle into your accommodations. 

Doing stuff is not only fun, but it allows your brain to be stimulated again after such a long break. You get to work up a sweat, get introduced to your surroundings, and most importantly tire yourself out a little bit.

6| Set Your Body On a Schedule
Setting your body on a schedule is key because it allows you to wake up in the morning and go to bed at night as if you were at home. That’s why doing enough stuff to tire yourself out on the first day is so important. 

Make sure to set yourself a bed time (eww, I know, you’re on vacation) so that your body can become accustomed to sleeping and waking up at certain times. Setting a wake-up time for yourself also allows you to make the most out of the days of your vacation. 

You may want to sleep in some days, and that’s fine, but think of all the cool stuff you could be doing if you were… awake.

Do you have some snazzy anti-jet lag tips?


6 Jet Lag Hacks Perfect for Summer Travels

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