Anyone else hate writing about yourself? Yup, me too, hence why I’ve always backed out on starting my own blog. So, when Emy reached out for me to be a resident blogger on her blog, I felt like that was the world telling me I couldn’t say no any longer.
Well I’m here, so lets get into it. I’m a 28 year old Indiana native who moved to Texas 6 years ago for my first real big girl job out of college. I’m a proud dog mom to 2 Boston terriers and I also have a husband.
Because of my background in fashion, I decided to finally take the leap in switching my instagram account into a creator account. Similar to the me ‘wanting to start a blog’ situation, I was also too scared to switch my account. For as long as I can remember my girlfriends always wanted me to help do their hair and makeup as well as borrow my clothes.
I’m a sucker for a good deal, I love trying out new beauty products and like my bio says I’m trying to live that Gucci lifestyle on a target budget. Welcome to the blog if you’re new here and if you’re not, welcome to my perspective.
My favorite self-help queen, Rachel Hollis, is in what she calls a “difficult season” right now. She’s gracious enough to share these little glimpses of her life as it drastically changes. She’s allowing her followers and readers to see a little bit of her pain through her emails, podcasts, and posts. However, as someone who’s felt pain so deep that you feel hollow, I know that she’s only allowing us a glimpse. She’s set a healthy boundary on what the world is allowed to see into her private, personal life.
For a long time, I’ve broadcasted pain, hurt, and embarrassment online. I’ve told the Internet how much I weigh and that one of my family members called me fat. One time, I told my podcast that I wanted to kill myself for about 75% of my Junior Year or high school. I’ve given you my prescriptions. My stomach sank as I let the world know that my boyfriend was cheating on me. I’ve told you all about my migraines that make me feel like an alien. Still, I walk around with next to zero regret for any of the things that I’ve shared online.
As a blogger, it’s difficult to separate what I should share and what I should keep to myself. In one frame of mind, the more that I’m vulnerable with you, the more you might feel empowered, safe, and strong. On the other, though, where do we draw the line between vulnerability and tearing your heart out?
Here’s Rachel’s argument on setting boundaries:
In her podcast, “Seven Things that Are Helping Me Through This Dark Season,” Rachel talks about how people are really quick to judge what, how, or when we’re willing to share our grievances. For her, they’re expecting another New York Times Best Seller when all she wants time away from her life. In my case, I think I’m expected to put everything I’ve been through online. As if not blogging about it makes it less of my truth; my story.
As Rachel says in the podcast (which I think you should go listen to even if you’re not going through a dark season), no one gets to tell you how to mourn. No one gets to tell you how to handle the things that pop up in your life. Even the therapists that we pay the big bucks don’t instruct us how to deal with our problems. Rather, they help us wade through chaos or mixes of emotions we can’t quite get through on our own.
Truth be told, even as a blogger, there are things in my life that you don’t know about me. I’m a pretty open book, but there are struggles in my life that are no longer relevant to the journey, uplevel, or message I want to spread now! Does that make them any less a part of my story? No. Does someone telling me I don’t have a story make me want to tell them? Still, no.
At the end of the day, when you close all the apps, shut your laptop, and actually power down, you have to be proud of that person laying there. Setting boundaries is one of the healthiest things you can do in any relationship or friendship. It can also be so successful for feeling good about what you’re putting out into the world via social media. Setting boundaries allows you to advocate for yourself. When people try to tear down that wall, a clear boundary is the highest, strongest, fortress you can arm yourself with.
Having trouble with setting boundaries with your online sharing? Want to learn the benefit of setting boundaries? Get in contact with me using any of my socials below – I would love to hear from you!
My brother and I were pondering what could be the most contradictory message that I could sharenon my blog. Maybe something like “You Shouldn’t Talk About Your Mental Health,” where I advocate for everyone keeping their traps shut. There are already many people in this world who spend their time writing articles with titles such as “Depression is a Choice,” so I think we have that base covered. Then I started to realize, I should probably write that contradictory blog. I should probably address all the people that scroll through my website and roll their eyes.
No, I’m not going to sit here and side with you. First off, it would piss off quite a few people who trust me to write with an open mind and heart when approaching something as delicate as our mental states. Secondly, I wholeheartedly disagree. Every single blog that I write has a goal of connecting to your inner self, your mental health, and your mind. If you don’t believe that some people might face some problems in that department then maybe this blog will change your mind. Seeing the world as more than just a binary of “happy” and “sad” will seriously change your life.
My parents knew almost nothing about depression when I first started my high school cry for help. They didn’t say they were clueless. They definitely didn’t know what to do or where to start when it came to addressing a situation that was unraveling before their eyes. Like most in their generation, they were raised to rub some dirt on it, wipe away tears, and get back up again. For all intents and purposes, this isn’t a terrible mindset to have. I mean, these are the men and women who have fought a couple of wars and whose parents survived the Great Depression. Was there really another way?
Generally speaking, in their generation, problems were dealt with in the home. Even then, no one really had the resources, technology, or knowledge about mental health to advocate for it or understand it like we do now. We constantly say that more and more people have mental illnesses now, but what if people just weren’t willing to be anything other than “normal?”
All that being said, my parents are definitely outliers amongst their peers. When others didn’t really understand or support my confusing disdain for everything around me, my dad was driving the mental health support train with my mom blowing the whistle. I’m blessed. People often applaud me for being open about my mental health journey, but they never think to applaud my parents for taking the leap with me. Being so vocal about my experiences has meant putting some really vulnerable moments online that people don’t always understand, especially when they think that I just wake up every day and choose to have depression or anxiety.
I was probably 19 when I first had someone ask why I couldn’t just be happy. The look on their face was a mix of judgement and genuine curiosity. I’ve gotten the whole “I would NEVER take medicine,” thing too many times to count. I still tease my mom about saying “I think you should just get some exercise and you’d feel way better,” when she started to notice my mood shift downward.
If there was any possible way that I could wake up, press a button, and decide my diagnoses wouldn’t bother me that day, I would do so in a heartbeat. I’m going to take a leap of faith in saying that literally every single person that has a mental illness would do the same thing. I absolutely don’t blame people for not feeling like medicine is their thing. It’s not my thing either! But damn, you don’t wanna hang out with this homegirl without her meds because it’s what WORKS FOR ME! Also, I would love to just sweat/eat right/meditate/sleep/work all of it out, but that’s not how it works.
Mental illness is exactly that: mental. You can’t see my social anxiety from across the room at the doctor’s office, but it’s very much there and it’s very much real! That classic Bob Marley song that I conveniently used as the title for this blog also used to piss me off when I was younger because I was worrying all the time which in turn made me the exact opposite of happy. You know the one. I get it. It’s a song. It’s supposed to make you feel good. But, just because you haven’t felt mental illness in your mind or coursing through your body doesn’t make the experience less real for someone else.
I haven’t personally broken my leg, but I understand that it would probably hurt. I don’t need to feel my bone break to believe in that kind of pain or suffering. More importantly, I trust the opinion of doctors that study and treat those people in the best way that they know how. Does a psychologist need to put someone’s head in a cast to have the world believe that you can’t just wake up and be healed? Maybe I’m comparing apples and oranges, but if someone asked why you can’t just choose to start running on your broken leg you wouldn’t know where to start. If they shamed you for taking ibuprofen because when THEY broke their leg THEY didn’t have to, how would you feel? If they told you to just get some more sleep and it would go away, what would you say?
So yeah, don’t worry and be happy, my friends. But know, that there’s a time and place where you or the people around you can’t easily fit into the mold that is “happy.” Understanding each other is the first step in advocacy for mental illness. Even if you’re lucky enough to not have a first hand experience with mental illness, knowledge in the fact that there’s not just two camps of “happy” and “sad” can go a long way in how we love and treat one another.
Even if this blog still seems like some sort of persuasive essay and you still haven’t been convinced, I hope you’ll take a look at resources like National Alliance on Mental Illness who can say all this stuff more technically and less based on personal experience. Moral of the blog: I hope you never ever question why someone’s “choosing” to be sad. I hope you tell your kids, grandma, dog, lizard, succulent, and any other life form that will listen that happiness isn’t a choice. It’s something that you work at. Some of us just need a little support in that department.
Here at EmyD you’ll see an ongoing narrative that if you’re trying your best, no one can ask anything else of you. That goes for happiness too. If you’re trying your best to get up, show up, and just survive, in whatever that looks like right now, I’m proud of you!
Have you ever felt misunderstood or misrepresented in your mental state? Even after explanations, examples, and tears? You are not alone! Connect with me on any of the social below – I want to hear your story!
At the spunky young age of 19, I applied to the Journalism school of my first college. Having previously gotten every job I interviewed for, accepted into every college I applied to, and received a slew of different awards and scholarships, I was in for a rude awakening when it came to rejection.
At the time, I was writing remotely for an online company based out of New York City. I had some pretty good contacts that were ready to write a letter of recommendation. There was published content that was doing well across all of social media. The cherry on top of the cake was that two of my best friends were already in the J-School, and they had both put their seal of approval on my application.
I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Being one of the twenty percent of admitted students wasn’t something I really worried about or lost sleep over because, in my mind, it was already a done deal. Well, I didn’t get in. I got a big fat rejection email.
Sure, it gave me encouragement to apply next semester, but it felt like a hard slap in the face. Rejection feels like that, ya know? It feels like the reality that you’ve bought into about yourself or your life is just crumbling around you. At the time, there was no brightside. While other friends got to pursue classes within the school and take steps forward, I felt like I was stuck in quicksand.
I’ve come to accept that everything in my life has happened for a reason. You can read a little more about this in my blog “Purpose From Pain.” Part of that is understanding that rejection also has its place among my life lessons. Getting a big, fat rejection from the school that I thought was my dream was a lesson I needed.
First, it forced me to give a shit about my writing. If you read a couple of my blogs, you’ll find that they’re very much written in a conversational tone. Most of the time, I’m speaking out loud when I’m writing. It’s always just made me connect to what I was saying more. That might have been what the media company in New York was looking for and what the audience of my first BlogSpot blog was looking for, but it wasn’t for everything.
Having a highly regarded school tell me that I needed some time to keep working made me realize that I didn’t know everything. I wasn’t the perfect writer that I had originally thought and just because my mom was sharing all my stuff on Facebook does NOT mean I’m ready to write a novel.
Second, being rejected made me start to rethink my plans. Whether or not it was supposed to, the rejection definitely made me question whether or not I was destined to be a writer. I walked into my first college class thinking that I wanted to write for The New York Times. This rejection is what made me start to consider communication. It made me start to realize that people could make money doing the thing that I was skipping class for; social media.
I had always wanted to minor in Political Science, but being rejected from the Journalism school made me want to pursue that even more. I declared dual-degree student the semester after with majors in Political Science and Communications. A transfer of schools would just turn into two Bachelor of Arts in those fields. I got more education than I ever thought I would because of that initial rejection.
Lastly, rejection eventually made me find the beauty in the imperfections of my work. Like I said before, the lack of admittance might have made me realize that I was not the all-knowing writing prophecy. It also made me take my writing for face value. There are things that I am ridiculously good at when I write – connecting to people, telling a story, and painting a picture for my audience. It made me realize that I was writing to speak, which is definitely something I want my future career to involve. It made me realize that even though I can write 5-paragraph essays and research papers, I don’t think I want to do that for a living.
The best friends that I talked about earlier are writing in the perfect way for them. My beautiful editor, Vanessa, writes so eloquently and I won’t be surprised in the least when her first book hits the shelves. She saves all of my blogs from having mistakes up the wazoo and offers so many amazing ideas. We’re two VERY different writers, but that rejection made me see the beauty of the craft again. It made me recognize that we’re artists painting what we find beautiful.
So, maybe you’re going through a terrible break up, you’ve lost your only source of income, or you’ve just got the rejection email from your dream school, and you’re questioning everything about you. Rejection hurts. Sometimes, it’s life’s way of putting a yield sign right in front of you so you learn to enjoy the drive. Other times, it’s a stop sign that you desperately needed to realize that your navigation was WAY off.
Being rejected from my dream school was my saving grace in finding my path and my true self. Maybe, just maybe, the pain you’re going through has a purpose too?
Has anything happened in your life that hurt but you’re thankful for now?Tell me your story by getting into the DMs on any of my socials below! I want to hear from you!
I’m in the middle of rebranding, dealing with Wisconsin unemployment, and moving back into my good old childhood home in this pandemic. You could say that I’m surrounded by a little bit of chaos. I’m sure that everyone has their own chaos that they’re dealing with in the face of this unexpected pandemic.
I’ve really tried to figure out the key to keeping myself afloat during all of this. Everyday I try to figure out the right words to string together to make you feel a little better after reading my posts. It can get a little exhausting, especially when those keys haven’t necessarily presented themselves in your own life yet.
One month into quarantine, I feel like I have a little gem I can share with all of you on the World Wide Web…. organization. I know, it seems almost unnecessary when your daily list of tasks includes brushing your teeth twice and making sure your dog stays alive alongside you. I get it. You may not be planning school, interviews, or work shifts in your planner right now, but that doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook when it comes to organizing your new kicks (even if it’s for a couple months before things are back to normal).
My friends would all tell you I thrive on organization now, but I haven’t always been this way. School came really easy to me (yes, I’m flexing), so the need for any sort of organization wasn’t even on my radar. When I got to college and realized in the first week that I didn’t even know how to take notes, organization became something I started to obsess over, research, and implement wherever I could.
No, I’m not telling you that you have to make a color coded Excel document with every single thing that you’ll do throughout the month on it. I mean, I do, but “different strokes for different folks,” right? So, let’s find a happy medium between chaos and that Excel sheet, okay?
Alright, I hate myself so much for writing this. Mornings are important. I’m not a morning person…. AT ALL. I would rather stay up all night finishing a project than get up early to start it, anybody with me? Honestly though, having a little bit of organization in a morning routine is essential to implementing it in other places throughout your life. Even if you wake up saying “I hate EmyDBlog for making me even consider this,” try to set and alarm and wake up at a certain time each day during quarantine. I’ve really been striving for 9am. Everybody’s morning routines are different and I’ll definitely be doing a podcast (which can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/afreshstartpodcast/) on what I do in mine, but try and build some habits in your morning that just start to feel “normal.” Quarantine isn’t ever going to feel normal even if you have NOTHING on your to-do list, some structure is going to make you feel more productive and a little happier!
Okay, this one might be a stretch for “beginner” level organization. I encourage anyone(and I really do mean anyone) that I talk to about mental health, to 1) journal and 2) habit track. For me, journalling is a big part of organization because it is the part in my day that I get to decompress what I’m feeling. It gets all those yucky emotions out so I don’t carry them with me into the next day or my next project. Even if it’s two sentences,it’s good to just make that a habit. Habit tracking is a little harder, but can be really rewarding if you start doing it correctly.
I started habit tracking as a freshman in college. Honestly, it was because I would forget to take my medicine and needed a reminder in my planner. As weird as this sounds, checking one of those boxes made me feel accomplished when I had felt like total shit the rest of the day. Habit tracking has opened my eyes to habits that I absolutely don’t want (like my intake of Mountain Dew) and habits that are completely falling to the curb (like the fact that I do NOT drink enough water). There are amazing apps for habit tracking. I’m tracking a lot of different things throughout the week to analyze later, but I started by looking at 2-3 things daily! You can learn so much about yourself by starting small.
Obviously, there’s so much more that goes into organization. I’ll definitely be adding more posts about this, but my last little tidbit for my time being in quarantine? Make your damn bed. You can call me Sergeant EmyD over here. Hey, maybe even add it to your habit tracker??? But seriously, making your bed gives you a fundamental level of organization that supersedes all other chaos in life. Fake it ‘till you make it, right? My whole life could be in shambles, but my bed being made makes me feel like I at least have some of my shit together.
Organization, like most other things in your life, is centered around habits. As you probably already know, it takes a while to build those. There’s not one single Instagram queen or viral blogger who just woke up to a million followers and the most organized lifestyle of all time. Organization is learned. So, if during quarantine you’ve “learned” that your lifestyle includes waking up at 3pm, eating only take out, and going to bed at 5am, I have no judgement for you. BUT, if you’re unsatisfied with those habits you absolutely can unlearn them and learn to be a person that gets up at 5am, eats kale for every lunch, and goes to bed at 8pm. Over here – I’m going to be a happy medium. Whatever you’re doing to stay cool as a cucumber during this time is totally valid. But, if you want just a little bit of structure to this total shit show that is an international pandemic, don’t say I’ve never given you anything 😉
Questions on my organization plan? Comments on other amazing ways to say organized? Let me know in my DMs on IG, Twitter, or Facebook (@EmyDBlog) or email me at email@example.com today! I’d love to hear your story!
I don’t know if you guys have gotten the memo yet, but there are a lot of really strong women in my life. I mean, I wouldn’t be this bad of a bitch if there wasn’t!!
This year, I spent most of International Women’s Day at work or napping my long shifts after work. But, I just love that day so damn much. Part of the reason why I chose my major, Political Science, was that it’s particularly dominated by men and that didn’t really sit right with me. I wanted to be part of a wave of a generation that changes the tides. I wanted Women’s Rights to become a top priority, income inequality to become a thing of the past, and reproductive rights to finally be given as the human right. I haven’t gotten overly political on this blog (yet!), but the time is coming folks!
Now, getting a B.A. in Political Science as a woman does not suddenly make me the feminist that everyone should strive to be. Absolutely not. Acknowledging a problem from the safety of a classroom or behind the screen of your Twitter does nothing. What am I actually doing to change the tides for women in politics?
I’ve grown up hearing about some pretty badass ladies. Sacajawea, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama and so many more cultural, social, and political icons. These women changed the tides. These women woke up in the morning with a fire in their bellies to change something – so they did. They used their art, words, sports, education, or body to stand up to show the world a women that it previously had not seen. Here’s why a month of celebrating the women of the world is such a kicker for me: there was nothing that marked these women as “different” as they were born. As infants, they were not suddenly destined to change the world, they made it their purpose.
I know that sounds a little ridiculous. Getting up every day and saying that you’re going to change the world, right? We have to remember though, that it probably wasn’t their lifelong goal either. Rather, they saw something that they didn’t like. They saw someone being treated poorly. They saw injustice. Instead of watching, throwing their arms up, and assuming that they had no role in the change, they took charge.
You guys know that I haven’t always felt that way, nor have I wanted anything good to come out of my life. For a long time, I truly didn’t really care what happened around me. That’s just an honest and brutal truth of crippling depression.
So, International Women’s Day is about all that came before me. But, it’s also about all the ridiculously strong women that I know, love, and constantly surrounded by.
To my best friends, whose hearts are so open and loving for everyone around them. Most of them having gone through some serious shit, but still dealing with life with such grace and beauty. All of which with such a serious fire for their unique passions including nursing, writing, fashion, education, family, and so much more.
To the women of my family, who have taught me how to navigate this sometimes cruel world. They have picked me up after the nastiest of falls, dried my tears, and kept me going when all I wanted to do was fall. Not only me, but everyone in their lives. They have changed the lives of everyone around them simply for being in them.
And especially, to my mom. Who has made the life that I’m currently setting out to live possible? She is a woman that taught me never to be ashamed of my own voice, education, or body. At the end of the day, it’s her that I turn to when I don’t know what the proper dose of medicine is, or I don’t know how to handle professional situations. She is my biggest fan (I mean, my dad too but it’s about the women today) and I truly wouldn’t be here without her.
Lastly, to me. When everything in life seemed to be crashing down, you still did it. When those little thoughts told you that it would be better to just be done, you still did it. You graduated Magna Cum Laude with two Bachelor’s degrees, one of which in a field that doesn’t have a clear path for women. You’ve been published and paid for what you’ve written. People love your photos and you’ve captured so many memories to cherish for a lifetime. You’ve spoken in front of thousands of people. You’ve been a part of protests. You’ve worked your ass off. You have the world at your finger tips. Maybe you don’t feel an unbelievable surge to like go and end world hunger every time you get up in the morning, but for the first time, you’re doing something that actually matters. You did it.
I follow in the footsteps of those before me and those around me in the best ways I know how. With so much love in my heart for life, people, and this Earth. I walk forward with this urge to change something. Change someone. Not so that I can be one of the women you study, but so that I know that I fulfilled my purpose on this Earth.
On International Women’s Day, and everyday, I’m fucking proud to be a strong, independent, badass woman!