loner

I like doing things alone better.

I am an only child so that may make more sense… maybe?

Whatever the case may be I’ve never disliked being alone.

However, this is not the case for all.

Rather than asking why others dislike solitude, I thought about why I enjoy being alone!

‘ME TIME’

Don’t get me wrong — I like being social!

But I also enjoy spending time by myself.

Recharge yourself. It’s necessary.

I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

There is a certain satisfaction in doing something outside of the norm.

We all know it.

Being alone in public tends to be one of those taboo things.

So yeah, if I go to a happy hour alone to journal it is okay to feel confident in your difference!

Just follow through with what feels good for you.

You’ll be amazed by how awesome happiness feels!

APPRECIATE YOURSELF

Something I have learned overtime is that no will be will able to give you love you’re “looking for”.

You have to love yourself.
That’s the only way.
All that good (cliche) bullsh*t.

Hey, I don’t make the rules!

Think about all the joys of solitude, such as no one else to account for or answer to.

It is freeing!

Do you guys like having alone time?
Let me know in the comments below!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

eliminating negativity

This week I asked on an Instagram poll what topic you would rather me ramble about: Eliminating Negativity or Imposter Syndrome.
Y’all spoke and I listened. Here I am delivering.
If you’re reading this on the day it is posted — Happy Turkey Day!


With the change of the seasons, the sun setting in the early afternoon, and obligatory family time creeping up, it becomes easier to fall into less productive habits and mindsets. Succumbing to these obstructive behaviors may feel more comfortable in the moment, but they are digressions along the path. These small defeats you allow yourself, like napping when you planned to work out or scrolling on Instagram when you should be finishing an assignment, maybe easier, but that doesn’t make them the right choice.

Eliminating negativity from my life has aided me in choosing the most advantageous options available to me, even when it is not the easiest or most appealing. Something a mentor has instilled within me, along with a wildly sarcastic sense of humor, is the truth that “you cannot control the situation, you can only control your reaction.” Although you may not be able to control the types of energy being directed at you, you are able to convert that energy once it is received. Imagine… You’re at work; your boss is in a mood and takes it out in microaggressions towards you.

The cause of your boss’ disgruntled attitude was most likely caused by an external force. Maybe a traffic jam on the commute into the office or an incorrect coffee order — nonetheless, he/she is allowing something other than themselves to dictate their emotions. More importantly, he/she is being overpowered by a failure outside of their control.

Now the question is — how do you avoid falling into the same negative feedback loop? **

I have found that eliminating any negativity I was allowing into my life has helped me to better focus on my goals and make the choices to work towards them.

** The “negative feedback loop” is a concept which Adrienne Finch discusses often in her podcast, Self-Made CEO. The idea essentially says we are responsible for the energy we attract into our lives. If we fail something and allow that failure to build the believe we truly cannot overcome a challenge, we fall victim to more opportunities that highlight our shortcomings. Thank you so much to Adrienne who took the time to reply to my DM and further define this concept!!

– WITHDRAWAL FROM TOXICITY –

This requires being very honest with yourself. Evaluate what you are devoting your energy to (x), then think about how it makes you feel to have spent time doing x. If you do not feel good about having spent your time doing it, don’t do it anymore. Time is the most valuable thing a person is able to offer, which is why I make a point to thank each of you for reading my posts each week. None of you have to be reading this right now, however, you are and I appreciate it. Anyhow, you should only spend your time doing things which make you happy. This may feel selfish at first, but just remember society has ingrained in us that being selfish is bad.

This is not necessarily true when it comes to the 24-hours we each have in a day. Every minute of those hours we allot to something. These are the literal moments that make us. It’s important to spend a good amount of them doing things which make us happy, in order to allow ourselves to be fulfilled — enlightening us to reach our full potentials.

Removing the toxic people, or things, in your life does not have to be permanent. Once you feel you are better equipped to deal with those things, you can integrate them back into life. However, for now, it’s most beneficial to distance yourself from negativity so you are able to grow stronger. This may be a very difficult task, especially when the people feeding you negative energy are your family members or close friends. However, I have found communication is a very powerful tool. Explain to them you are working on you (as cliche as they may sound), which for you, means prioritizing more alone time.

They will either respect your mature decision to better yourself and allow you to distance without being hurt, OR they’ll think you’re a weirdo and begin distancing themselves from you. The end result is the same — more time for you. 🙂

– IMPLEMENT POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY – 

The idea is to focus on building your strengths rather than fixing your flaws. “Resilience is the ability to bounce back in spite of adversity.” Overcoming limitations are the situations that strengthen the courage, conviction and other personality traits of impactful leaders.

I have been fortunate enough to find forms of de-stressing and mental relaxation which work for me relatively easily. Unfortunately, each method does not work for everyone and you may need to experiment with a few different techniques.

I have found podcasts to be incredible for my mental health. There are quite a few meditation / intention setting focused ones on Spotify. I really enjoy Sleep Cove and Mindful in Minutes: Mindful Morning! I have also rediscovered my love for reading. My excuse was “I don’t have the time.” But guess what, an extra hour isn’t just going to appear. If I really want to read more, I have to make the time. And so I did. Then between reading more frequently and blogging, I realized how much I love writing. I’m actually taking an advanced writing course in the spring, which I’m super pumped about! 🤓

As mentioned above, I began to withdrawal from toxic people I was allowing in my life and started to focus on what really makes me happy, then pursuing it (reading, writing, thinking creatively, sleeping, etc.) Find what you enjoy, that makes you feel good and is along the path towards your goals. Then do it.

– MAKE YOUR BED –

Seriously, listen to me: If you do not already, be sure to make your bed each morning.
You will leave your house and go about your day knowing you have accomplished something. You will be coming home to a neat bed, rather than a disheveled mess of blankets and pillows. It feels so good, believe me. Especially after a long day. This trick ties in with implementing positive psychology, as well. You are praising small victories, which builds and reinforces self-efficacy and confidence.

– BE GRATEFUL –

giphy

This is pretty straightforward, but take time each day to remember what you are grateful for. There is always something. Be specific in what you’re reflecting on, which will instill the habit of looking for small things. You can take this time whenever you’d like (morning, afternoon, evening), but try to do it around the same time each day to better build the habit.

I take time in the morning while I am preparing my cup of coffee. The smell of coffee grounds is one of my favorite morning scents, along with bacon. Once my coffee is brewing I will spend the time thinking about how lucky I am to be alive — some people did not wake up. Although this may sounds incredibly lame, it is true. As humans, we must realize our mortality in order to embrace life. That’s just my way of doing it. I also reflect on the specific small wins of the day before, then prioritize my goals for the current day. This is an amazing way for me to organize my thoughts while my mind is getting set up, which helps to solidify ideas. Or so I’ve found. ☺️

Okay, I think this post is long enough. If you’re interested in knowing more about anything I mentioned, feel free to reach out to me! Once again, thank you for spending the time reading my work.

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

Sources:
Brendtro, L. K., Brokenleg, M., & Steve, V. B. (2005). The circle of courage and positive psychology. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 14(3), 130-136. Retrieved from http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.temple.edu/docview/214193531?accountid=14270

white out weekend ’19

Each October spectators from far and wide gather at State College, Pennsylvania, for the spectacle which is Penn State’s “White Out” football game. Hordes of people of all ages wander across Downtown, making their way towards Beaver Stadium. As far as the eye can see are students, alumni, families, fans and newcomers to football. Everyone dressed in varying white Penn State swag. Most groups carrying their choice case of beer or malt drink to enjoy at whichever tailgate they end up. Happy Valley is a cult. A fun cult, but a cult nonetheless.

Prior to this weekend I went to Penn State Main Campus one time for a visit during my senior year of high school. It is a nice campus and a nice area; however, it was not the type of environment I wanted for my college experience. Also, I would have had to attend the summer session and give up the opportunity to go to Hawaii the summer before my freshman year of college.

Sorry PSU but you were just not worth it to me.

I’m a city girl. Philly born and raised. I even have that 215-area code, so you know I am legit. Being here my entire life, I have been spoiled by the melting pot that is Philadelphia. I have endless food options available nearly any time of day, myriads of individuals from diverse backgrounds and pretty much anything anyone could need. I mean, sounds good to me.

It totally boggled my mind on Friday evening at State College as I scrolled through Grubhub to see my only options were pizza or wings.

(I ended up ordering from a place which sold a sandwich roll filled with diced grilled chicken a “chicken steak sandwich”. In the future I will be sure to pack more snacks, lol.)

As I mentioned earlier, I had no real knowledge of Penn State. I knew the white out game was a thing only because some of my friends attend the school.

I did not know how intense this spectacle is.

And I did not know the real importance of wearing white.

I showed up with an oversized navy blue basic “Penn State” hoodie a friend gave me, which I planned to crop. Ya girl wasn’t looking to spend money on a look I will never wear again.

This was a no. My friends said I would stand out, and I felt they were being dramatic.

They weren’t.

 

Alec, one of my best friends from high school, is amazing and not only let me stay with him but also let me borrow a crew neck sweatshirt — AND let me crop it to better suit my high waisted jeans.

What. A. Man. 😍

Being as I am such a fashion innovator, Alec loved my crop top and wanted to rock one as well. 😋Love you, boo. 😘

Aside from the lack of late-night food options I had a great time in Happy Valley for a whole 36 hours.

Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Would I go back? Yes, I’ll probably go visit again in the spring.

Do I regret not going to school there? Absolutely not.

I must admit, I have always had that little voice in the back of head questioning my decision to attend Drexel University. They are just so damn good at marketing themselves and I ate it up.

However, something I have come to realize throughout life is that things do fall into place.

Eventually.

You may not understand it while it’s happening, but eventually it will start to make sense. Believe me, I know that in between waiting period sucks. I think the vast majority of us will experience a segment of life where we feel kind of like so much shit is happening, and you have no idea what to do…
Then things kind of just start going right because of all the work you’ve put in.

yaas

It has taken my life 21 years to begin transitioning to the point where shit is going right, lol. Just like everyone else in the world, I have dealt with some wild stuff throughout life and it felt like the entire world was against me. Not to jinx myself, but things are finally where they should be. 

However, life did not just begin to shift into place and work its own kinks out. With much persistence, effort and will-power I have dealt with the obstacles life has thrown at me along the way. I have flourished into my personality, am able to better vocalize myself without fear of rejection and I can truly say I love the woman I have become. 

I am also incredibly grateful to be in an amazingly conducive growing environment at Temple University. It is amazing to be in a classroom with people who are partnered with Instagram, Maybelline, Clean & Clear… the list goes on!

These are real people.
People like me. What??
Then I get to thinking, 
Oh shitthis is something I actually can do…”

Transferring from Drexel University is by far one of the best decisions I have made. I am super thrilled with my experience at Temple so far and I cannot help but feel so much excitement for my future! 🙂

While my heart lies Temple, I will be reppin’ PSU pride again this spring. 😋

life lessons: early 20s

Presently I am 21 years, 2 months and 28 days old. What makes me in the slightest bit qualified to give advice on living your early 20s when I’ve barely experienced them?!

I reached out through my Instagram story asking peeps (ages 20 – 27) to share with me some of their most important life lessons. Everyone I have spoken to about this have had, or are having, wavering feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty — myself included. My personal experiences living and growing as a young adult, along with gaining insight into the lives of others inspired me to create this post.

This is not to say your 20s aren’t a time of euphoria, entertainment and rebellion — because they totally are. Some of these lessons were prefaced with my favorite memories! I mean, come on, we all have a good “I Need to Take a Break from Drinking” story, right?

Thank you so much to the amazing people who took the time to share with me.

These lessons are in no particular order. They are equally important.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CRITIC.

I want to share that many of the women who responded to my question touched on self-confidence or body image issues in someway. It has taken me my entire life, and I am still working through, learning to love and accept myself. “You are more than the sum of your parts,” is a quote I have reflected on daily for quite sometime now. It continues to remind me how far I have come in life and how much more potential I have beyond my corporeal self.

As some of you who follow me on social media may know, I am currently watching Mad Men. The show is amazing for many, many reasons. One of which being alpha-male character, Roger Sterling. His witty comments, alcohol-loosened mind and complex personality make him one of the most beloved characters. At some point in season 5 (I think? They all run together when you binge watch) Roger says, “It is far healthier to be flawed than insecure.” This line is one that really hit me. I paused the show, wrote the quote down and began to brainstorm what it means to my life. I’m telling you — great show!

In dark times it is easy to fall into patterns, allowing yourself to fall out of priority. Something or, often times, someone is used as a substitute. You cannot love someone else until you love yourself. While the distraction may work, it is not sustainable. The root issue of self-love needs to be attended to otherwise you will continue missing something in life.

CULTIVATE AND VALUE RELATIONSHIPS.

Whether it be platonic, romantic, professional, etc. all relationships should be respected. Although this may seem obvious, I cannot stress how important it is to establish and build a good name for yourself in the world. Life is wild and it will take you all over. It is unknown who you will bump into later in life or how they may impact you. For example at my previous job, I spent a bit of time working closely with old co-workers, including my manager from a couple years ago!

I cannot even begin to tell you the countless stories of my social webs somehow intersecting. This is why it is so important to have a diverse integration of people in your core circle. Keep the people who you enjoy spending time with close to you. Take comfort in knowing there is always someone in the world who loves you, although you may not know it. And remember, everyone wants to feel loved. Once you find the people you are able to communicate open and honestly with, be sure to show your appreciation and gratitude for them — they are not easy to come by.

LEARN TO ACCEPT AND GROW FROM CRITICISM.

Many of us, myself included, have received a critique we’ve struggled with accepting. A standout moment for me happened fall of my freshman year of high school. I remember the moment so vividly… My grandma and I were standing in the kitchen as she cooked dinner. She told me about her day at work, I told her about my day at school. Then she blindsided me. “Alexandra,” she said, “maybe you should make your eyeliner a bit thinner. It looks a little harsh…” She was absolutely correct! But at the time I thought I knew everything, so of course I wrote her off as a “hater” and continued to wear my eyeliner absurdly thick. While this critique is not as important as others may be, accepting you are not always right can be a hard pill to swallow.

Fellow Philly blogger and Positivity Publicity author, Camille Mola, shared her early 20s “were a time of some serious growth — whether I knew I was growing or not.” Camille attests that during this time of chaos, it was easy to feel like “everyone else has it all figured out, except for me.” It takes time to realize no one really knows what they’re doing! I find comfort in the fact that we are all playing along in this life trying to figure it out.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND COMMUNICATE IT.

COMMUNICATION IS SO IMPORTANT!!! Without properly being able to convey your feelings, the person (or people) you are dealing with will not understand your perspective. The same applies for the other side. In romantic situations is where I personally have found this communication to be very useful and empowering. In my personal experience of dating as a young woman I have taken notice, more often than not, there are expectations associated. This blame can be placed on a number of things, such as Tinder or Grindr, apps which condone immediate gratification. However, it can also be to blame on a lack of communication.

Just like communication, boundaries are integral to a healthy relationship. If you are in a situation in which you would rather be alone, say it. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to leave a bad date and not call them back. You are allowed to speak up if you want a specific project role. No one will know unless you make it known.

Thanks for reading!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex