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

recent reads

One of my goals entering the new year is to read a new book every month.

I set aside time to read. This is a way I prioritize myself.

I’ve always liked reading.

As a kid I would crush teen romance books.

Now that I’ve matured mentally I’m able to comprehend material heavier than The Fault in Our Stars. I love absorbing knowledge and viewing topics through different lenses.

But wait, let me guess…
“I want to read more but I don’t have the time,”

We’ve all got the same 24 hours.

If you really are driven to do it, you will make the time. It’s simple as that.

The average person has allotments of time throughout the day spent scrolling on their phone. You could read.

I spend a lot of time on public transit. Rather than shuffle through songs until I find one I want to listen to for half the ride, I read.

I made a list of some good stuff I’ve been reading lately for those of you who are interested in expanding your mind. However, while reading these books you must keep an open mind.

These are not your average bedside reads. Well, unless you’re someone like me.

The order of this list is not representative of anything.

MALCOLM GLADWELL IS MY BOY!

During my senior year of high school, I participated in a dual-enrollment program with a local college. During the fall semester, I took Introduction to Sociology.

A reading requirement for the course was Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. This book was my gateway to self-improvement, business-oriented, entrepreneurial reading.

Gladwell’s writing style is easy to read. It’s casual while still maintaining structure.

If you like reading my writing, you’ll probably enjoy his. I take inspiration from his style, as well as a few other authors later mentioned.

OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS
A ‘self-made’ success story is all-encompassing.

In this book, Gladwell explores the background of successful moguls such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Why do some people soar and others fail?

Did you know a Canadian male born in early January is much more likely to become a professional hockey player than a male born during the latter portion of the year?

If not, now you do. For other cool and obscure knowledge, read Outliers.

BLINK: THE POWER OF THINKING WITHOUT THINKING
You’re more equipped than you think you are.

This Gladwell piece dives into “thin-slicing,” better known as a gut feeling.

We have a conscious and subconscious mind both of which are tapped into during the decision making process. What many of us often forget is that our subconscious knows a lot.

More than we realize.

I’m sure you’ve experienced intuitive feelings regarding the character of a person or the elements of a situation that have immediately rubbed you the wrong way. Were you right?

If you’re interested in learning more about how crucial your subconscious is when it comes to quick reactions and decision making I would highly recommend Blink.

TALKING TO STRANGERS:
WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE DON’T KNOW…

I have not finished this one yet. I am about a quarter of the way through and I’ve enjoyed it so far. Admittedly I’m not as hooked on this one as I have been on other Gladwell works. However, I started it during a rather hectic time so I do not have a vivid memory of it. I plan to restart the book sometime in the next few months to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PEOPLE DON’T DO by AMY MORIN
Sometimes seemingly self-explanatory information must be reiterated in order for it to fully resonate with you.

Although I said the order of the books is arbitrary, this book, in particular, I would recommend the most. 😋

I may be biased because this was the first self-improvement genre book I dabbled in. Outliers is categorized as business.

Nonetheless, this book quite literally changed my life. Thank you, Amy Morin. I started reading in February 2019 and did not complete it until late May (??) 2019. Something like that. My copy is beat up.

Of all the reads this one took the longest for me. Oh but it’s less than 300 pages…

Yes, part of it is that I get lazy with reading. But also this book is dense with information!

After reading into one of the concepts I would take a break from the book to work on implementing the change in my life.

Although some of the concepts seem self-explanatory, there is something about reading it that makes it resonate and become applicable to you. Once I began to notice improvements, which sometimes took a while because not everyone is perfect, I would begin to dive into the next chapter.

ESSENTIALISM: THE DISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF LESS by GREG McKEOWN
Figure out what core talents you have. Hone them.

As someone who has always prided themselves on their ability to do many things well this read made me rethink strategies.

I, along with others I have recommended the book to, believe the theory of essentialism would only exist in a flawless society where every individual acted highly selfish. ‘Selfish’ meaning they always prioritize themselves.
But we all know that person who cannot say no. Maybe you are that person.

A truly essentialist society, on a large scale, is off the table. However, there are practices within the theories of Essentialism that when applied externally lead to a positive result.

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK by MARK MANSON
Focus on what matters to you.

While I love Mark Manson’s writing style and delivery, I do not completely agree with all his ides. That being said, the man can argue his point well.

The overall theme of the book is to not give a f*ck about anything more than you have to.

Essentially figuring out what aligns with your personal values and goals then pursuing that life.

Sounds lovely! However, not always practical.

If you’re able to get a bit creative in applying the concepts, there are some really valuable lessons to take away from this read! If you’re into sarcasm, cringe humor and a blunt delivery, check out Manson’s blog or other published works!

Next on the reading list is The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin. I started it Tuesday and I’m enjoying it so far.

Baby is thicc.

After that in the queue is Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi.

Let me know if you guys read, or have read, any of the books I mentioned in the comments below! What are you reading next??

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

morning routine – winter 2020

Hello everyone! Welcome to another post where I talk about myself.

hehe ☺️ –>

Recently while doing brand research (exciting things coming) I came across a quote by online marketing guru, Neil Patel which read,

“Building a brand isn’t about feeding your ego. It’s about giving yourself more opportunities to help and connect with people in your industry.” 

“Hell yeah it is,” was the immediate thought that came to mind. 
This dude put my thoughts into the words I haven’t been able to gather!

As I mentioned I was doing research on branding, which is what led me to this quote. A key point I have learned through my journey is that to be your best self you have to invest in yourself

Each person has a unique set of needs that are critical to thriving in life. These needs link back to Abraham Maslow’s psychological theory, Hierarchy of Needs

Essentially the theory entertains the idea that each person must meet their specific needs to operate optimally. 

One of my needs is stimulation. These needs can be met in infinite ways. 

To meet my need for stimulation there are goals I set to achieve each day. These small, attainable goals build confidence and are proven to encourage people to achieve more goals. 

Getting in at least 30 minutes of activity (walking, lifting, running, shopping, etc).

 Completing at least one personal task (journaling, reading, meditating, etc). 

Interacting with individuals who push me to think outside the box. 

There are a lot of things I set out to do in a day. That is because I know prioritizing my time properly will benefit me in infinite ways. 

In the past (and even sometime now) I spent many, many days running around (both literally and figuratively) like a crazy person. Yet at the end of the day, I completed nothing. I may have worked a bit on quite a few tasks, but nothing is finished.

The determining factor is how we choose to delegate our 24 hours. 
We all have the same 1440 minutes to be our best selves daily. 

Time management to the minute can be incredibly helpful for planning your day. Especially if you’re new to actually following a schedule, like me. ☺️

MORNING ROUTINE

4:40am – 5:10am

I know this is early and that sucks. But something that makes it a bit more enticing is pairing the thing you dislike (waking up early) with something you enjoy (ex. coffee)!

Another help has been an app I downloaded in December called Sleep Cycle. The app runs overnight and monitors your sleep cycle (duuh). It is able to track the various levels of sleep (REM sleep, light sleep) and wakes you up while you’re in your lightest sleep level.

This is meant to promote a more satisfying, refreshing and pleasant morning.  Which I can attest to.

5:15am – 5:20am

Depending upon when I am in my lightest level of sleep I have woken up, made my bed and am brewing a cup of coffee by 5:15am. While my coffee is brewing I check in with my physical self to see if I’m hungry. If so, I will snack on a few rice cakes with PB or a mini bowl of granola with my morning coffee.

5:30am

how does activewear NOT get wrinkled???

Once my caffeine supply is restocked, I go back to my room and get ready for the gym, or whatever workout, I have planned. 

I lay out my gym attire the evening before so that in the morning I just have to go through the motions. There are quite a few articles I came across which encourage sleeping in your gym clothes. It allows you to spend the least amount of time getting ready in the AM. Interesting.

5:30am – 6:05am

This is my time. I spend this time doing something I enjoy, whether that be reading, journaling or meditating. 

I do my best to ensure I do those three things each day. However, framing my morning with enjoyment leads to a better mindset for the day. 

6:05am – 6:10am

During this time I prep to leave for the gym. Brush my teeth. Gather my lifting gloves. Tie my shoes. All that good stuff. 

6:10am – 8:00am

GET SWOLE

swole, adjective: fit, muscular

I don’t work out this entire time. It is also factoring in the commute to and from the gym. 

My workout for the day will be something like a strength training circuit, a group class or yoga stretching — whatever gets me moving.

8:05am – 8:20am

By this point in the morning, I am back home and sipping on a vegan protein shake. Right now I’m enjoying ON Gold Standard Plant-Based Protein in vanilla. 

Since I have a newfound spirituality, I read over my astrological data for the day during this time. I find it to be an amazing way to get myself into a clear mindset for the day to come. 

After I’m done reading my witchcraft mumbo-jumbo, I jump in the shower.

Depending on what the rest of my day is structured like I will do my hair and makeup accordingly. A day at work is going to require a bit more aesthetic prep than a brainstorming day. 

By the time my meetings, classes, phone calls or whatever else begins I have devoted a solid few hours to things that make me happy. 

Do you guys have a morning routine? 
Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading. Talk soon. 
Alex

becoming overwhelmed

If you were to ask anyone who personally knows me they would describe my life as “hectic” or “chaotic” — no doubt in my mind! My life, just like everyone else’s, is complicated. As I mentioned in my first post, I have experienced many significant changes in my life within the past few months. And to be completely honest, I was very overwhelmed at first. I had a mini freak out, took a breath then realized: This is a normal response!  

Just like many other people I have a natural tendency to shut down when I begin to feel overwhelmed. My shoulders rise to my ears and my heart rate increases. At times when I’m really stressed out I even experience dizziness. These physical responses coupled with the intense mental strain causes everything, in that moment, to seem as though it’s too much to handle. This is exactly what happened to me when I tried to imagine what life was throwing at me. 

Life is a roller coaster! For the sake of this metaphor, this car has a lot more than one seat. Adrenaline junkie or not, everyone consciously choose to run the ride with each decision they make. Unfortunately, the part that sucks is that it’s your job to repair the ride when it breaks down. Too often we are distracted living within our own worlds that we forget the choices we make affect not only us, but those around us…

While the easiest option was to remain stagnant and be upset about the situation, this was not an option for me. So what did I do? I was forced to come to terms with the fact that the situation I was in was the result of choices I consciously made. Once I understood that, it was time to roll up my sleeves and attempt to repair this thing… and did I mention my tool skills were limited??

I devoted every ounce of my being to getting the ride back on track. With tenacious effort and mentoring from my amazing support system I was able to get the ride operating! Aside from feeling accomplished for repairing the mechanism, I refined my utilitarian skills. These skills allow me to be proactive in repairing minor issues before they cause a major malfunction. 

When it comes to my support system, I largely attribute my character development to my godmother. This woman is wise beyond her years and more than willing to share her philosophies with those who will listen. She is one of the most sensible people I know — making her one of the only people I truly listen to. I largely accredit her for my methods of dealing with stressful situations. Similarly to my aunt, I want to share my tips with those of you who are willing to listen. 

Pause and observe the situation.

I feel as though it is important to feel your emotions rather than suppress and hide them away in an attempt to forget them. You are allowed to freak out… but only for five minutes. 

No actually — Set a timer on how long you’re going to mope. Limit the amount of time you allow yourself to feel the stress and anxiety of being overwhelmed. Then move on and get over it! 

Emotional repression is actually damaging to your physical health! Countless studies show “feeling bad is good,” however, put a time limit on the negativity and prepare yourself to conquer the world. 

haha relevant

Take control.

I am a list person — I love making lists! Creating a physical representation of what you need to accomplish (…a list…) has been proven to help build mental strength. 

Feel free to flip flop this with feeling the emotions too! My typical process is making the list then freaking out over how much I have to do… then breaking it down and getting sh*t done!

One step at a time.

steps

Forreal though, deal with everything in small pieces. The inspiration for this post came to me  while I was (attempting to) clean and organize my bedroom. I tend to look at the chaotic wreck that is my room, imagine what I could be doing with the space then flopping onto my bed because I have no idea where to even begin cleaning, haha. 

As you can imagine, this is not a productive method. What do I do? Clean one part of the room at a time. I started with my tallest dresser, organizing my skincare routine, hair accessories and assorted decor until it was aesthetically appealing to me and I was content with my efforts. This same method can be applied to life; each action is a step you are taking towards a goal. 

Take a break.

Like most humans, I enjoy immediate gratification and the feeling of accomplishment accompanied with it. However, immediate gratification is a fleeting feeling; creating lasting happiness is a process. It is OKAY to not get everything done at once, so long as you are making progress along the way. Your physical body heals itself while you’re resting. The same applies to your brain — you have to allow yourself time to relax and unwind. 

It took me a little over five months to figure out what I now know. Although I may sound like I know what I’m talking about — I don’t. I am still learning, just like you. However, you have been fortunate and stumbled upon my tips to help you expedite your progress. 😉

Thanks for reading!

Talk to ya’ll soon,
Alex

References:
http://www.chopratreatmentcenter.com/blog/2017/04/26/heal-suppressed-emotional-pain/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201009/emotional-acceptance-why-feeling-bad-is-good
https://www.fastcompany.com/3063392/how-writing-to-do-lists-helps-your-brain-even-when-you-dont-comple

mini life update

It is no exaggeration to say your 20’s are a period of incredible growth and development. People change and grow apart as they gain new insight to the world — it is natural. Similarly to other young adults, I have experienced situations which have altered my perception of reality and I am now observing the world from a different perspective. With that being said: 

Those of you who don’t know me, hi, I’m Alex! …and for those of you who do know me, hi, I’m Alex. 

I’m not the same person I was a year ago — hell, I’m not even the same person I was six months ago! And I hope I am not the same person six months or a year from now. I have become, and strive to continue becoming, the best version of myself.

As some of you are aware from my previous post, my life has experienced quite a few radical changes, including taking time off work and classes, transferring universities and moving! While changes of this magnitude may cause you to become overwhelmed incredibly easily, it’s important to work through whatever life throws at you in order to flourish and grow. ☺️
^No worries — I have a later post coming with more on dealing with that. 😋

Up until about sophomore year of college, the idea of changing myself was incredibly intimidating. Luckily, I am now able to admit my perception of reality was skewed by delusions concocted in my own mind. For too long I allowed myself to believe the world was against me. I am proud to say I’ve expanded my world view and I am beyond excited to embrace the opportunities life offers me. 

I know, now you’re asking, “What may those opportunities be?” To be honest, I’m not entirely sure yet. However, I would like to believe my future is promising and for the first time I am looking at the world optimistically. 😇🤞☺️

Now for some questions I’ve been asked a lot recently:

Where did you move? 

I moved back to good ol’ South Philly, which is where I spent a large portion of my childhood. I forgot the weird part about being back in South Philly is that some families, like mine, have lived here for 70+ years and everybody knows each other… So nearly everyone knows who I am and I know no one. (smiley) But yeah, I moved in with my godmother and her husband — they’re awesome. Special shoutout to Aunt Leen!! 

What have you been up to?? 

I’ve been chillin’, honestly. But productively! I’ve spent a lot of time reading, writing and pondering. No, it is not as studious as it sounds. These are things I hadn’t had the time to do in the past, so I had a lot to catch up on! One of the most beneficial things I learned is how to be comfortable with silence. Annnnd I also did a lot of eating, sleeping, working out and socializing. Up until the past week or so, I have had a jam packed schedule! Granted, it was nothing incredibly structured but still busy nonetheless. (tongue) 

Where are you transferring? Why?

“Someone said you look like an owl!” “WHO??” 

Haha, I couldn’t NOT. I will be starting at Temple University in the fall! Woot woot! Temple Owls… get it?? Anyway, I’m really excited to continue studying public relations at TU. I don’t know all the details yet since, just like everything else in my life, transferring from Drexel University is not simple. However, the transfer is worth it because of Temple’s awesome PR program. There are a few women I have followed since we all began college and I have witnessed their platforms grow exponentially. I am ready for my time to shine. (sunglasses) 

I feel like these kind of hit everything without too much depth. I mean, that’s what the blog posts themselves are for, right? 😋

Thanks for reading!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex