Someone I admire: Bloganuary Entry #5

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This is a really hard prompt because there are truly inspirational and admirable people everywhere. But it’s pretty fair to say that most of the people I admire are women. And even more specifically, they are women in my family. You can close your eyes and pick pretty much any one of them, and you will find someone who has set and amazing example of being a good mother, sister, aunt, matriarch, trailblazer, free thinker, supporter, etc. It is truly hard, no…impossible, to pick only one person to write about. And frfr, I don’t want to poke the hornet’s nest of picking out just one person.

So instead of picking one particular person that I admire, let me tell you five traits that I find are common in the many people I admire.

They choose kindness. Every woman in my family has been through something. And yet they are all the sweetest, kindest people on the whole planet. Yes, I said the whole entire planet!

They stand up for themselves and for others. They all do it in different ways. Ranging from timid and subtle to brazen and spitfire, they have their own approaches, but they speak up. And their approaches are actually quite fascinating. I’ve noticed that there’s a time and a place for each method, and I’ve even used some myself.

Despite obstacles, they persevere. Life is clearly full of challenges. Being able to face those challenges, no matter how big or small, and come out ahead is no easy feat. Watching the women in my life tackle challenges and come out being better and stronger is so powerful and encouraging. They tackle motherhood and marriages and the workforce and entrepreneurship, and of course all of the daily nuances that life can present. Being able to watch them face challenges and persevere gives me so much strength in my own life.

Through actions or through words, they impart wisdom. There is a takeaway from every encounter. Whether it’s a recipe, a history lesson, a mantra about life, a tip for the daily struggle, or a lesson in what not to do, there’s always something to learn.

They love hard. There is never any question about who they love and how much they love them. They express it in their actions and with their words. Often. And without shame.

It may be hard to pick one or even three top people that you admire. But do you notice a commonality among people that make your list? I’d love to hear what you admire about the people you admire!

I wish I knew how to: Bloganuary Entry #4

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Life is about constantly learning. I truly enjoy learning new things, and I seek knowledge, no matter how small. I love that there are so many ways to learn right at my fingertips, thanks to my friend the internet. Whether I’m learning a craft, a recipe, a computer trick, or a dance class, I feel like it’s good to be constantly open to learning.

I love finding random tutorials on pinterest, and I love taking advantage of online resources. I’m currently making my way through a Life Coaching course and hopefully I will finish that in the coming months *fingers crossed*, and I’ve done a few ecommerce courses over the past year that were really interesting.

But if I had to pick one thing that I wish I knew it would be that I wish I knew how to change a flat tire. Of course, there’s a million reasons why this is a good, practical, and important skill to have. I don’t like the idea of being stranded, vulnerable, or possibly in a dangerous situation over something that I could fix myself if I have to. Because tires rarely announce in advance that they plan to go flat, the sooner I know how to do this, the bigger relief this will be for me. So it’s on my 2022 learning list for sure.

But on a smaller scale, here three things I’ve learned to do recently by using online resources:

Fabric Stamping: I follow an artist on IG that uses random items to stamp fabric, and she then uses the fabrics to make bags. I have been mesmerized by her process and thought I could try something similar. So I looked around on pinterest for tutorials and tried my hand at it. Using some remnants from Joann’s, some fabric paint, a straw, and a plastic fork, I created these masterpieces. I thought this was fun, and it’s such an easy way to decorate a space. I also plan to try this on some tea towels. It could make a really cute gift idea, and there are so many different possibilities.









Ceramics: To stay sane during the pandemic, I definitely turned to crafts. One thing I found cute and interesting was clay. Trinket dishes, earrings, and wine charms…I tried them all. I tried both air dry clay as well as clay that you bake in the oven. Here’s one of the many tutorials that I played around with and here are a few of my results.

Beading: I love making my own accessories, so when I stumbled across some posts for making beaded jewelry, I became obsessed! And again, the pandemic caused lots and lots of time isolated in the house, so this was a wonderful creative outlet. Several hundred dollars later (oy!), and I have bags and bags and bags of beaded bracelets to show for it. Here’s one blogger that gives a good bracelet tutorial and below are a few of my results:

What do you like learning? What’s the last thing you learned or taught yourself to do?

Favorite Toy: Bloganuary Entry #3

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I should be more embarrassed about this but I’m not…lol. One of my favorite toys growing up was a portable chalkboard. You could write on the top, then the top flipped open and inside was a place to hold things like papers and chalk and erasers. Which means for fun, I played school.

My dad, to this day, loves to tell the story about how a friend of his came over one day, and his son was about my age. So we went off to play. I asked the son if he wanted to play school and he was completely and utterly disgusted. “PLAY SCHOOL!?!?! YUCK!!!”

But me…I loved handing out papers, and writing on the board, and having a fake grade book. I would line my stuffed animals up and discipline them, which is weird because I never got yelled at in school or anything. I don’t think it’s that I wanted to be a teacher, but this is what I considered a good time back then–handing out homework assignments, bossing my animals around, and washing the chalk board.

So that’s it…the geeky kid me loved pretending I was in school.

Did you have a favorite toy? Does it uncover any embarrassing childhood secrets…like…for a good time, you played school? Let’s hear it!

Comfort Zones: Bloganuary Entry #2

Black woman standing in front of a city window.

I am an introvert. I used to think I was shy. And maybe in some ways I am shy. But I’m by definition, also an introvert.

I love spending time alone, I recharge by being by myself, and dealing with crowds, even people that I know well, exhausts me. Simple things like sending an email to more than two people, or attending a group outing with more than two attendees…stress me out and cause me a great deal of anxiety. I make myself small and quiet to detract attention from myself. Even at my own wedding, I did not want people to focus on me.

But my mother taught me at a young age that I had to push through situations like these, and over the years I have learned tricks to get me through. Even when I feel dizzy. Even when I want to vomit. Even when my blood pressure shoots through the roof. I push through and apparently many people don’t even notice exactly how miserable I am in the spotlight.

So most people laugh when I tell them I’m an introvert or that I hate non-intimate groups or that I truly do not enjoy being around people that I don’t know well. In their eyes, they see a person who adapts to crowds effortlessly.

With that said, becoming a blogger and wrangling social media requires stepping outside of my comfort zone each and every time I hit publish. I agonize over every single picture and every single post. I inspect every miniscule pixel and weighing every pro and con of posting. Many times, after hours of adjusting and editing and filtering, I just delete the post entirely. I have hundreds of pics from 2021 alone that never made it to an IG post or story, because I just could not calm my nerves enough to push the post button.

And don’t get me started on being a business owner that suffers from Imposter Syndrome. A business owner that has to exude a certain confidence, that has to make the ask every day for people to buy my products. A business owner that has to generate captions and ads, and constantly engage in the world of social media, because that is the way of business nowdays. There’s not any room for an introvert in a world where reels and stories and lives and tik toks are the way to find your potential customer, engage with them without being pushy, promote your product and keep your business relevant.

My comfort zones are close and tight. Self-promotion is hard. Asking for someone’s attention is anxiety-inducing. So every time I post a blog post or story or picture or reel, I am an introvert that has stepped far outside of my comfort zone.

Are you an introvert? How do you step outside of your comfort zone?

A Reflective Moment

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I got some sad news this week about the passing of a high school classmate. The whole thing just hit me in such a weird way. I wasn’t particularly close to this classmate, but I went to such a small school in a small town so everyone in my school knew everyone in some way. Even as a grown-up 25 years after graduation, if you hear a name, you immediately remember the classes you had, or how you went on a class trip, or how you crushed on so-and-so’s older brother, or how you used to play kickball in the cul-de-sac.

So I heard about this classmate, I saw a recent picture of her, and though I could see remnants of the person I remembered, her face in the picture carried the weight of the mental illness that she lived with throughout her adult life. I had no idea. She was a popular girl. A cheerleader. Cute as a button and sweet as can be. Her life was supposed to turn out perfectly. She was supposed to be the one we admired at the reunion because everything turned out as perfectly as you’d expect for the adorable, smart, bubbly cheerleader from high school. She rode on floats and got lifted to the top of pyramids. She was kind. Seeing that picture, with the wrinkles and dark circles, yet with the slight glimmer of the cheerleader from days past that I remember…and reading the family tributes about how things were for her later in life, it all just settled on me so heavily.

Of course your life is more than a picture, and there’s no telling what twists and turns life can throw at anyone over the course of 25 years. You never know what people are dealing with and what demons they battle. You don’t know what trauma they encountered or how that trauma impacted their life. She wasn’t someone I’d keep in touch with but she’s definitely someone I assumed would go on to great things and someone I thought would live well. It threw me for such a complete loop.

It’s all just a weird and sad reminder to be grateful for my health, to not make assumptions about what someone is going through, to live while I can, that life is short and that tomorrow is never promised.