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Personal Blog Post: Apologies Are in Order

Sorry for My Absence Blog Post

Hello everyone! How’re you all doing today? I know it’s been quite a while since you’ve heard from me. For that, I extend my sincerest apologies for my long silence. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart I didn’t intentionally stop writing on my blog. There wasn’t anything going on here in the blogging community that made me not want to write anymore. I just—needed to be away for a little while.

As you all know, I mentioned back in February that I lost my best friend to a disease that has yet to have a cure. While I’d love nothing more to say I’ve gotten over that loss and have fully moved on with my life, that would be a lie. The grief I feel over her death comes and goes with some days being easier than others. She was someone who was really a big part of my life so having to live without her hasn’t been easy. But I’m managing the best I can, one day at a time. One of the things I’ve started working on to help deal with my grief is writing personal letters to my best friend, talking about the different things going on in my life. I’ve found that it helps even though there are a lot of times I don’t really know what to say.

However, that isn’t the only reason I’ve been absent from my blog. This year in general has just been very busy as well. I have an older sister who just recently got married so I’ve been helping prepare for that.

And to be honest, I just haven’t been writing or reading quite as much lately. I guess you could say for the past couple months I’ve been in a reading and writing slump that I’m slowly working on getting myself out of. I have a lot of books to read, just need to pick one up and start reading again. But it’s been difficult to get out of because I just haven’t been feeling like reading lately and I don’t know why. So, I’m going to try and figure out what’s causing this slump for me and what I can do to remedy the situation so I can read the books piling up in my room that remain unread.

With that being said, I’m hoping this blog post can be the start of me getting back to being involved with my blog again. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy writing on my blog and have missed being a part of this community. Hopefully writing this post will motivate me to get back into blogging again like I was doing before I took this unexpected absence.

Again, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for being absent for so long. I can’t guarantee I’ll immediately be active on my blog again, but I’m definitely working right now on getting out of this slump so I can get back into it. And I truly believe this post will be the start of that for me.

I hope you all are doing well and can’t wait to continue blogging where I left off! Please let me know in the comments below what all you’ve been up to since my unexpected hiatus because I’d love nothing more than to hear from fellow bloggers.

Turning the Page on Life To 26

birthday cupcake image

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far. So, January 14th is my birthday and this year, I turned 26.

When I was younger, I used to make such a big deal about my birthday. I’d get all excited every time it came around to the point where I’d tell other people it was my birthday just so someone would wish me a wonderful day.

Well this year has been a little different for me. For once, I was more relaxed about it being my birthday and not making as much of a big deal about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come to the realization that it’s not something I need to make such a fuss over. That if someone wants to wish me well, they will and if they don’t then on well.

Either way, this year I felt calm about it being my birthday and just took the moment to enjoy the day no matter what happened. I was at work all day and it was busy because of payroll being due for me to turn in so it came and went quickly.

While I’m another year older, I don’t feel that much different than any of the days before. I feel like just the same person that I’ve always been and that not too much has really changed. But at the same time, I feel happy with where I’m at in my life and that there have been some changes that I’m proud of.

For starters, I’ve acquired a new job that’ll put me in the right direction in life. Not to say working in food service isn’t a noble thing, it just isn’t where I picture myself working for the rest of my life. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this job because I originally wasn’t doing well at it my first couple weeks. But now, I feel like I’ve gained my ground and am starting to adjust to my job responsibilities and handling whatever tasks get thrown at me. If anything, I find I’m busier now than when I started out due to us hiring more employees and being given more responsibilities by my boss. I see this as a positive thing because I believe they wouldn’t give me more work if they weren’t happy with the way I’ve been handling things. While I don’t know where this work experience will get me in life, I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity and to get the experience.

I’m also thankful/happy because I have a poem published in an anthology. I know I’ve already talked about this quite a bit, so I probably won’t say too much else about it, but I’m still excited that a poem I’ve written is physically in a book that people can buy and read. One of my dreams is to one day be an author who writes her own stories and gets published. And I feel like with the anthology, I’ve accomplished my dream of being an author even if it’s just having one poem I’ve written getting published. While I hope that’s not the only piece of writing of mine that’ll be read, I still want to continue pursuing that dream and having more of my voice going out into the world. I know my blog here on WordPress also helps me accomplish some of my writing goals so I’m extremely thankful for that too.

All of this I accomplished when I was 25. So, I can’t wait to see what 26 has in store for me. Hopefully it’s as wonderful as being 25. I’m hopeful that it could be another great age but will wait and see what life has in store for me.

 

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3)

always and forever lara jean

Rating: 4 stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

I really enjoyed reading this concluding book in this series just as much as I enjoyed P.S. I Still Love You, but for different reasons. While I didn’t want this book to end, I felt like this book was the perfect way to end the series because of it being Lara Jean’s last year of high school before she goes off to college.

It continues to tell the story of Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter, but also focuses a whole lot more on the pressure of getting into college and what comes with that. When Lara Jean doesn’t get into the college of her dreams, she faces a dilemma she didn’t expect. I enjoyed seeing that conflict with her because I felt like it was a realistic problem that I’m sure other teens applying to colleges experience. Part of senior year of high school is beginning the journey of adulthood and I felt like with Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han tackled the subject very well when it came to Lara Jean’s beginning journey into adulthood.

I also appreciated seeing how talking about college impacted Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter. Especially because they both wanted to go to college together since they were planning on continuing their relationship after high school. While Lara Jean didn’t handle her plans changing very well at first, when she discovered another college that was very similar to the school she originally wanted to attend, I thought it was wonderful that she made the decision to go to that school. For once in these books, she actually made a big decision for herself instead of taking the easy road to get what she wanted. Seeing Lara Jean struggle with her decision on where she was going to college when her original plans failed reminded me of what the pressure of choosing college was like for me. While I can’t say my experience was anything at all like Lara Jean’s (because it definitely wasn’t), I felt like I could relate to her character when it came to college because that’s a big decision for a person to make for themselves.

What I also liked when reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean was that you as a reader slowly saw Lara Jean make big decisions. While she’s still pretty far from acting like an adult, I felt like she was finally maturing a little bit in this book. For once, she was finally making decisions for herself, not because her family and friends wanted her to make those choices.

My biggest criticism for this book would have to be the lack of conflict in it. While I sometimes didn’t mind because it made this book a fun, light read like the others, I felt like there should’ve been something more. I mean, yes there was conflict when it came to Lara Jean going to college and how her final decision impacted her relationship with Peter, but that was really it when you actually think about it. There wasn’t really a whole lot else going on that really caused conflict in the story and that did bother me a little bit because it was like certain characters who were featured in the previous two books never existed.

But overall, I still enjoyed reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean. As a whole, I enjoyed reading all of these books in this series because they were a light and easy read for me to get through. I also enjoyed seeing Lara Jean’s family dynamics and how close she is to her two sisters as well as her relationship with her friend Chris and boyfriend Peter. I enjoyed reading them as well because they reminded me of what it was like when I fell in love for the very first time and reminded me of what choosing a college was like for me. My biggest criticism for this series as a whole is the lack of character development, especially in the main character Lara Jean. She still has a whole lot of growing up to do, but I still find myself liking her anyway.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this series and recommend it to anyone looking for something light and easy to read. But I recommend caution to anyone who reads these books that’s just gotten out of a relationship and is still dealing with that heartbreak.

 

What I Hope 2019 Brings For Me

2019 Happy New Year

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wonderous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving source—a sower of dreams—just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing alright and that the start of 2019 has treated you well. Personally, I’m excited about this year right now because I recently just bought myself a new laptop that was giving me issues, which I’ve since resolved. So this’ll be the very first blog post I’ve written on here since I bought it, which makes me really happy.

For me, 2018 started off with loss then became a better year closer to the end with new opportunities I never expected to be within reach. The summer was the most difficult part of 2018 because my partner lost someone very close to him who I was just starting to really get to know. So as the year went on, we dealt with that loss together, which resulted in further strengthening our now two-year relationship. While I know losing someone you care about is never easy, I believe we’ll both get through this together and come out stronger as a couple.

2018 did have some good moments for me too though. There was definitely a lot of change as my grandmother in Pennsylvania sold her home and moved to a retirement community in Florida. But I also experienced change myself with a new job opportunity I never expected. While I’m still getting acquainted at my new job with how everything works, I truly believe this opportunity will benefit me in the long run with more job experience and lead me closer to my dreams.

While I haven’t been reading and writing (on my blog and outside of my blog) as much as I’d have liked in 2018, I had an opportunity with my writing I didn’t expect which still has me awestruck. One of my poems is published in an anthology, which you can order off of Amazon and on Kindle. In 2018, I officially became an author and I can’t be any more pleased by it because it’s something I definitely didn’t expect to happen for me. Having my writing published to where other people can read something I’ve written is a huge dream of mine. So by having my poem published, I feel like I’ve accomplished one of my dreams, though I hope it’s only the beginning of what’s to come with my writing.

So while I didn’t accomplish everything I’d hoped to accomplish in 2018, I definitely feel proud of what I achieved last year and am thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given.

For 2019, I hope this new year will be more fulfilling than the last. That I’ll be able to continue moving forward towards completing my goals. I hope to continue reading more enjoyable books that I can talk about here on my blog and continue expressing myself with the power of the written word. I don’t necessarily have any set goals for my blog here on WordPress other than to continue writing blog posts that others will enjoy and gaining followers in the process. My main hope with my blog is to continue getting to know other bloggers and to continue being active in the blogging community.

I truly hope 2019 will be a good year and hope you all are having a good 2019 so far. So what do you want from 2019? Please leave a comment expressing what you want from this new year.

 

Back to Blogging (Hopefully)

Back to Blogging Fall Image

Hello everyone! I hope you all have been doing well and I’m sorry I haven’t written anything on here in so long. I know it’s been a month since I’ve last written a blog post. It’s just that life for me has been super busy because of my new job. I’m still getting accustomed to the new hours I’ve been working, plus I’ve already traveled twice during my three weeks in this position. The first time I traveled to Ohio for my training, and then a week later I was asked to attend time keeping training in Pennsylvania for the new time system we’ll be using for our time sheets.

On top of all of that, I then thought I was sick with a cold. But it turns out it’s my seasonal allergies that randomly make an appearance just when the last medication I take expires. My seasonal allergies first started for me whenever I was in college living on campus 30 minutes away from home. I don’t know what exactly changed, just discovered that my throat gets itchy and all whenever the seasons change. But it’s never consistent so I never know if it’s actually my allergies or if I’m sick. So I’ve been dealing with an itchy throat, stuffy nose and headaches on top of adjusting to my new position and getting accustomed to earlier hours.

As a result, I just haven’t had the energy or the time to write on my blog like I’ve been wanting to. And I feel pretty bad about it because I’ve already canceled a post I was really committed to writing for one of my blogging friends. I was really excited about writing this post, about this opportunity, but these past couple weeks have just gotten away from me and I wasn’t able to complete the post like I wanted to. I know she understands and all, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling bad that I didn’t complete the post like I wanted. I know they’ll definitely be more opportunities to guest post in the future, but I don’t like letting those chances slip away from me.

While I’m glad that I have this new job opportunity and to see where it takes me, I’m sad that I haven’t been as active on my blog recently. But with adjusting to new hours comes me having to change the time I write on my blog. I don’t know yet how often blog posts will be, but I’ll try my best to stay as active on here as I used to be. I think it essentially depends on how I feel once I leave work, whether I’m up to the task of writing on my blog or not.

For now though, I’ll take it one day at a time just like with my new job. I find that overall this job has been okay so far. I’m still fairly new so I’m still learning how things work around there and what’s expected of me. I know there’s a lot I could improve on with myself in this position, but since I’m still learning, I need to cut myself a little more slack. I don’t know yet how I feel about the job overall, mostly because it’s office work and that’s not something I necessarily enjoy doing. But with this job, I’m definitely gaining more experience and feel like I’m heading in the right direction with what I want to do. I just need to stop over thinking every little thing I do and I believe I’ll be fine once I get really into my new position. I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity and while this job is only supposed to be a temporary position, I’m hopeful that it could turn into something more for me when I can prove myself a valuable asset to the company.

I hope moving forward to continue writing more posts on my blog. But for now, I’m trying my best to enjoy this new opportunity and adjust to my new hours. I’ll write blog posts whenever I feel inspired and have the chance, but it might not be as frequent as I used to. So until my next post, I hope all of you are doing well and would appreciate hearing back from you in the comments about what you’ve been up to. Take care and happy writing!

Confessions of A Writer #6: Writing Helps Me Heal

Confessions of A Writer #6 Writing Helps Me Heal Image

Whenever I first started writing, it wasn’t for the purpose of writing about the real-life situations I was going through. It was because I enjoyed it and I wanted to see where my passion would take me. It wasn’t until later on when I really got into writing via my journals and my blog that I quickly realized that writing was a way for me to heal.

For me, not only do I enjoy writing, but I also use writing as a way for me to get my emotions down. Whenever I feel sad, angry, upset, etc., I use writing as a tool for me to talk about whatever’s bothering me. I’ve found that doing this allows me the opportunity to let my feelings out instead of keeping them bottled inside, which essentially helps me feel better long term.

I also find writing helps me come to terms with certain things I’ve dealt with in my life. Life isn’t always easy, and having the chance to write down my thoughts and feelings whenever they strike me leaves me feeling better than before. It leaves me feeling in a much better emotional state of being and allows me to tackle on the world.

Writing is a way for me to heal. It’s the one thing that’s constantly helped me whenever I’ve needed it, no matter what’s going on in my life. It allows me to validate my feelings when nothing else can.

Writing is a personal journey for me, especially when it comes to writing here on my blog. Whenever I’m writing these blog posts and someone comments on what I’ve written, I know I’m not alone. It’s empowering, and I feel like it allows me to let my emotions out even further because I know someone in the world relates to what I’m saying, what I’m feeling. I then want to let that person know they aren’t alone, that I’m here and I know how they’re feeling.

There’s a whole community of us writers out there and I’m happy I get to be a part of it. Even if my community within it is small, I’m glad writing has become such an important part of my life. Because I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Writing has allowed me to open up, allowed me to express so many emotions, to let go. Writing helps me heal, and I don’t know what I’d do without it in my life.

2018: My Year of Change

New Year 2018 Image

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

I know I’m being ahead of myself here whenever I wish you all a Happy New Year. I know it isn’t 2018 yet when I’m going to post this because I’m writing this ahead of time, due to already having reflections of 2017. But I wanted to get a head start on this because I was really itching to write and reflect about this year we’ve had.

2017 really has been quite the year. It’s been a year I know I’ll remember, maybe more than many of the others we’ve all left behind. I believe part of that is because so much has happened, yet almost everything feels exactly the same.

In 2017, I made quite a few changes I felt were needed in my life. I quit a job that did nothing but drain me emotionally and I fell in love with someone I never expected to, which allowed me to move on past my last relationship. I also continued writing here, even going so far as to making changes to my blog that I felt were necessary in order to make my blog into what I wanted it to be.

All of these different changes were things I needed to do to improve my life. However, I know there’s more changes I still have to make. That is where 2018 comes in. I hope with this new year to continue making changes in my life.

In 2018, I hope to continue improving with my writing by bringing in a variety of writing topics. Of course, I plan on continuing writing book reviews and talking about video games, but I want to continue writing about other things as well whenever I can. I also want to learn more, which means the possibility of making big decisions in my life in order to make that possible. I want to continue doing whatever is necessary to make writing a part of my life and eventually my career. And of course, I want to continue improving my blog in every way I can. I know I’ve already started down that path by changing my blog’s name to something more personal and changing the design. But I want to work on changing it some more if I can.

I want 2018 to be my year. I want it to be the year where I try new things and get completely out of my comfort zone. I want it to be the year where I continue reading new books and play video games I might never have tried before.

But I know in order for all of this to be possible, I have to step up and make these changes happen. Only time will tell for certain whether I’ll be able to do that.

Thank you everyone who reads my blog for being here with me in 2017. I hope you continue following me into the new year and that 2018 is what you want it to be. I know I’m definitely going to try the best I can to make it one of my best years yet.

Confessions of A Writer #4: I am A Writer, Despite My Lack of Experience

I Am a Writer Jessica F. Hinton Quote

I am a writer. I might not have all of the experience or knowledge as those who write for a living, but I am a writer because I have the passion for it. I am a writer because I enjoy it, it’s the one thing I know how to do and it’s the only thing I can imagine myself doing for the rest of my life.

Yet, others wouldn’t consider me a writer because I don’t have a job where I get paid to write. Or because I don’t have a novel or story published for readers to enjoy or critique. Or even because I don’t have enough knowledge or experience in writing to work for a major newspaper or publication.

But the thing is, I’ve been writing since 7th grade. And I haven’t quit since. Yes, I don’t work for a major publishing company or have 3 to 4 years of publishing/writing/newspaper experience, but I did study writing during my four years of college. I did an internship for a year with a nonprofit that worked with independent bookstores called Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. This allowed me the opportunity to meet some Southern Authors at one of the trade shows I attended and gave me an insider’s look into the world of booksellers. I also was a part of my college’s online newspaper The PostScript for a year, where I wrote news stories that we published online and was the editor for a semester. For those interested in seeing for themselves, the page with all of my published stories can be found here. Being a part of a newspaper for a year was a rewarding experience. It gave me good insight into what it was like deciding what to write about in the community and gave me a better understanding of writing in a way I’d never thought of before.

And then, there is my blog here on WordPress, which I started in 2015 months after I graduated from college as a way for me to continue pursuing my passion in writing. A writing atmosphere that I find allows me the opportunity to continue writing the way I wish but also allows me the ability to improve my writing. A community of writers who’ve been nothing short of supportive as I continue on my own path of writing success.

During the two years I’ve been blogging on WordPress, I feel like I learn something different each time I set out to write. I’ve also found I’ve enjoyed writing a lot more now that I can write freely without following a specific set of guidelines. I think it has to do with being allowed on my blog to write in whatever style I choose, making changes whenever I find it necessary. But at the same time, I’ve learned that blogging is a lot different than reporting and each style of writing has its own unique rules.

I know my path of becoming a writer isn’t the traditional route of getting there, but I’ve found I’ve learned a lot since I first decided writing is what I wanted to do. In college, I gained the solid foundation needed to understand how writing works. Now, I am continuing to work on my writing style to see what suits me as well as just writing whenever and about whatever. I’m learning more about the blogging community and working on improving my blog to the best of my ability.

But at the end of all of this, I am a writer because I believe I am one. I am a writer because I enjoy it and can see myself writing for the rest of my life.  And if you feel the same as I do, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

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