33 Articles Published in 365 Days

IMG_9680_2

For me, 2015 can be described as wordy – literally! Over the past 365 days, I have had 33 essays published across multiple outlets- 20 syndicated and 13 original. Having the opportunity to allow my work to be introduced to new readers has been the best thing to happen this year.

Continue reading

Advertisements

365 in 365- Kinda, Sorta, Let Me Explain

il_570xN.483656551_25qxAlmost exactly a year ago, I had decided to embark in an ambitious endeavor of completing 365 things 365 days. At the time, it was a creative way for me to continue to try new things while regaining a new life balance, something that was lacking in 2014. The original list was full of mini road trips, photography projects, wish list items and many, many, many random to-dos

Forgive me if this sounds cliche, but there is no other phrase that can describe why all of the items on the list did not get completed. The unexpected happened in my life early in the year, placing me on a winding path for the rest of the year. Instead of focusing on this list that was sure to bring me enlightenment, circumstances caused me to rise to the occasion at work, where I had barely been for four months. An unintended Master’s class was upon me, expanding my industry knowledge and skills sets in a baptism by fire way. Somehow I blinked, and 2015 is in the final stages. In total, 95 items have been completed on the original 365 list. Yet there is no doubt that over the past year, the amount of new experiences, purchases, projects and skills developed total that target number of 365.

doallthethingsWhile all of the items are not included on here, each one has impacted who I am. From discovering my uncanny ability to multitask high priority tasks, to exploring my strengths as a professional, the direction of my future is clearer now than I had anticipated it would be this time last year. In respects to my writing, in 2015 I have had 33 essays published including 20 syndicated pieces and 13 original. My mind is still reeling about that reality. The gratitude I have in my heart for the opportunity to share my stories to help others feel less alone cannot even begin to be explained. Personally, the items that were completed (both planned and spontaneous) served as additional crumbs of insight leading me the path of learning more about myself. Self acceptance and inner peace is still a daily struggle, but maintaining an undistorted viewpoint has become more manageable.

To check out my favorite moments of 2015, including a photo gallery, click here!

To check out a photo gallery of my favorite photographs that I’ve snapped in 2015, click here! 

To check out all of the 33 articles I’ve had published in 2015, click here! 

Below are the list of the 90 items checked off the list, as well as a few of the additions: Continue reading

The Christmas Cat That Worked Better Than Xanax

Originally Published on Huffington Post on 12/24/2014 and xoJane on 12/25/2014

2014 can be labeled as ‘the year of…’ many things. The year I turned 25.The year I spent recovering from a super-shitty depressive episode . The year I successfully ate a clean diet for 40 days, and ran my first 5K. The year I wrote about my online dating failures and had several articles go viral . The year my best friend’s son suddenly died. But most importantly 2014 will be the year I got a kitten. The year of the highly intelligent cat. Technically I was given to her for Christmas 2013, but didn’t bring her home on December 28, which is practically 2014.

2014-12-24-10885385_10154902143235063_3524299957804822172_n.jpg

That day as I drove through the streets of North Philly with a plastic cat carrier with the tags still on it, anyone who passed by me would think that I was insane. “We’re almost to place Cat, just stop making noises” I screamed trying to match the volume of the ear-piecing wails my new pet was making. Within a span of 72 hours, I had agreed to accept the Christmas present from a friend, a 4-month old marmalade colored kitten that a friend of a friend had found wandering around his apartment building. “This is the thing you need. It will provide such comfort,” my well meaning friend when she introduced me to my very much alive and active gift. As the cat and I eyed each other up for the first time, we were both skeptical of each other.

When we finally got to my apartment, I let her out to get a lay of the new land. She scurried to the drawer underneath my bed, where Cat stayed for several days. (Yes, originally the cat’s name was Cat because she looked identical to the one in Breakfast at Tiffanys. Eventually I named her Annie because she was an orphan , and Cat became to annoying to explain to non Audrey Hepburn fans.)

Great. The cat that is supposed to make me feel less alone wants nothing to do with me. Initially I was certain becoming a cat owner was a mistake, and had begun looking for places to drop her off. I was such a hot mess myself, and this cat doesn’t even like me. Continue reading

That Awkward Moment When You Open A National E-Newsletter and See Your Face Staring Back at You

1976954_10203066445364876_2176036857001711839_nLast Saturday morning I was sitting in the hair salon on a rainy Saturday morning with red dye plastered on my head. My mom was in the chair next to me flipping through a magazine making comments about one of the Jenner sisters. My phone jingled-a friend of mine posted on my Facebook a screenshot of her Yahoo inbox, featuring my xoJane article (which was reprinted in Huffington Post Women). For those who know me, I’m rarely speechless. Well this was a rare occasion- you’re love life isn’t always on one of the world’s most popular websites is it?

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 7.23.18 PM

Needless to say round two of reactions began and shocked me. Over 400 emails, 21K likes, 1368 comments, and a few hundred more on the original essay. Not to mention the awesome new readers that wanted to know more about the girl who was insane/ballsy enough to write about the clusterfuck of her love life. And her highly intelligent cat.

Continue reading

A New Outlook on Online Dating and Internet Trolls Thanks to Readers Like You

snippet1When I submitted my xoJane Online Dating Reject article, I was pretty impartial about what would happen to it. Of course I wanted it to run on the website, but it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if it wasn’t picked up.

Last Friday when the article ran, I was pleasantly surprised to see 124 comments within two hours. Initially, the comments were very constructive. Many readers shared their take on my dating profile, and made awesome suggestions on branding myself in a more positive light.

Much of the advice pointed out really key suggestions I hadn’t taken into consideration prior. Sure, the description sounds witty if you know me and get that I am not a child-craving cat lady who spends all of time chugging smoothies in bed.  But if you read that and didn’t know me in real life- then it sounds like a teaser of an extreme introvert. Continue reading

The Weekend I Spent Analyzing My Life Because of the Internet

 images (1)This weekend has been quite different than what I had planed. The majority of my waking hours was spent on Saturday feeling conflicted. Part of me was feeling ecstatic that a piece I had written was on the front of a wildly, successful online magazine. Writing for xoJane had been a writing goal for so long, and contributing over the past 9 months has been incredible.

My goal has as always been to connect with others through my writing- so someone out there going through similar situations won’t feel so alone. As a writer, the fact that the comments have continued to pour in (last time I check it was at 502) is also an incredible win. People are reading, clicking, and sharing my story. Someone other than my grandmother is taking the time to read and talk about what I have to say. 

The other part of me is mentally wrestling with myself. I would say 85-90% of the comments have been uplifting and full of constructive criticism. I have gotten AMAZING online dating advice and can’t wait to try it out. It was the advice I was looking for from readers. There have also been lovely emails sent to me from readers saying their experiencing the same thing, or have in the past. Again- it was a goal of the article to strike a chord with women facing similar struggles. Continue reading

I asked for Online Dating help- and XOJANE Comments Exploded

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 10.12.51 AMWriting my online reject article for xoJane was a shot in the dark- it was a personal experience that I thought a few people would be interested in, or maybe relate to. When it was published yesterday afternoon- all comment hell broke loose. I’m not going to lie- I spent Friday night pouring through the array of feedback in the comments section. Many uplifiting, and full of valid advice. Others made me want to drink tequila and cry into the fur of my mentioned (and must discussed) ‘highly intelligent cat’. 

I woke up to this—all this in less than 20 hours. Continue reading

The Online Dating Reject

As seen on XOJANE, Published 09/05/2014

I expected life after college to be a lot harder. Entering the workforce in one of the more turbulent economic times in our nation’s history would mean I would have to work harder to break into the communications industry. Moving out of my parents house would mean learning how to live on a strict budget, resulting in many Ramen dinners the week before pay day- but that’s expected. The Miranda Lambert song ‘This Ones for the Girls’ told me that at age 25 I would be living in a tiny apartment eating spagehettos trying to survive. However, I did not expect that my dating life would be summarized in one word: clusterfuck. Excuse my language but there really is not any other word in the English dictionary that describes my dating life right now.

Online-Dating-E-mailFor the life of me, I cannot get a date. Just typing that sentence stung. As a single, straight female living in a metropolitan neighborhood, one would think that it would be fairly simple to meet men. I’m not a huge drinker, so the bar scene has never really been my thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I’m not into one-night stands either. Although I am an introvert and would rather spend time with my cat while watching Netflix, I ventured out of my comfort zone and joined a co-ed softball league and registered for a comedy class. That was a bust. Most of the guys were taken, while the others showed zero interest in my lame attempt to flirt. When that didn’t pan out, I turned to the one avenue that has never let me down: the Internet. Continue reading

How I’m Surviving In Survival Mode During a Severe Depression Relapse

420df4dbf230b2969cc405eb8ecb380eOver the past several months, it had been easy justifying why I had been tired, a bit anti-social and melancholy. A hectic work schedule, feeling run down, and family obligations were my staple cop-outs to give to myself or anyone else who questioned my actions. The truth was that my insecurities were creeping back into my daily life again, this time with a vengeance through changes in my personal and professional life.
 
I started a new job after an unpleasant exit from my former place of employment. I was immediately thrown into the busy season in a matter of weeks. Doubts about my career choices stemming from the previous employment mishap were still raw as I grappled with learning the ropes of a fast-paced workplace in a new industry. As much as my new colleagues were assuring me that I was a fantastic addition to the team, my perfectionist personality constantly critiqued my learning curve. 

Continue reading