It’s International Yoga Day!

This morning, I completed Day 12 of my 30-Day yoga challenge and I’m noticing so many great changes in my body as well as things that I still need to improve on. Yoga is a very mindful and self-aware practice and over the past week and a half I have become increasingly aware of my body and my mind when I dedicate time each day set out for doing yoga.

My biggest challenge so far has been discipling myself to stick with the challenge. I usually try to commit to doing my yoga in the mornings to start my day fresh but sometimes it’s not always possible or easy to get it done early in the day. Sometimes I have to do my yoga before bed which is difficult because I’m usually tired at the end of the day and would rather lay in bed and relax.

On the 5th day I had put off doing my yoga until it was too late and I was too tired to do so. I was disappointed in myself for getting lazy so early on in the challenge and not committing the 20-30 minutes it would take to complete Day 5’s exercises. To make up for it, I did both Day 5’s exercises and Day 6’s so as not to “cheat” on the challenge.

Ever since then, I’ve been doing my yoga every single day and I am slowly seeing progress in my flexibility and upper body strength. I can’t wait to see what else I discover in the remaining days of my 30-Day yoga challenge!

 

Here’s the link to the yoga instructor’s YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA

T

Happy Pride Month!!

IMG_4710.JPGIn honor of June being pride month I got a little colorful and creative!

To get this look I used:

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow (Chocolate) for my eyebrows
  2. LA Girl Pro-Concealer (Almond)
  3. Maybelline FitMe Foundation-Matte Poreless (Cappuccino)
  4. Morphe 35B eyeshadow palette for the eyeshadow look
  5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Kit (Medium to Tan)
  6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit- Gleam (Hard Candy)
  7.  Drug Store pink lip liner + Buxom Lip Foundation (Au Naturale)
  8. Maybelline Blush (Fresh Plum)
  9. Natural Flourish-  Blooming lashes

30 Days of Yoga

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In my previous blog post I talked about experiencing what I like to call “post-grad blues” and how easy it is to lose motivation when you don’t know where to go next. Uncertainty of the future gives me so much anxiety that I tend to push all thoughts regarding my future away and only focus on the immediate present. As in, thinking about what I should eat for dinner later that day. In that post, I stated that one of my goals for the summer is to channel my energy into something productive and positive for myself and makes me happy.

One of the ways that people “find” themselves and become more self-aware is through yoga. Like most people, I’ve taken a few classes here and there with my friends, and sometimes even my mom, but I never really committed to the practice for my own sake. A few days ago, I randomly decided that I would start my morning off with a yoga session in my backyard. I typed in “yoga for beginners” on my laptop so that I could follow along and visually see what to do. This led me to find a YouTuber named Adrienne who posts various yoga videos that cater to many different levels, styles and abilities. One of the first videos that came up was the “day 1” video of her 30-day yoga challenge and it was then, that I decided I would watch her videos and do yoga everyday for 30 days and try to complete her challenge.

The first day was fairly easy to manage; she mostly focused on easing into the stretches and focusing on breathing. The second day proved to be much harder for me. As someone who works out very infrequently, I was using muscles that hadn’t been used in a while. Though it’s only been two days so far, I can definitely tell where many of my problems lie. I have terrible breathing techniques, my hamstrings, calves, and hips are very tight, and I’m lacking serious upper body strength.

I look forward to completing the 30-day yoga challenge and possibly extending it to a 100-day yoga challenge. One of the main takeaways from practicing yoga is learning how to be self-aware and understand your body. Knowing what I need to fix is the first step to working on these issues and getting fit.

Post-Grad Blues and Getting “Lost in the Sauce”

So here’s the T,

Post-grad blues is a real thing and it’s really hard. Going to college away from home gave me the ability to grow and experience adult life without having true responsibilities yet. It was the best of both worlds. I could essentially do whatever, whenever I wanted but didn’t have to worry about paying my phone bill or my own rent. Though I have learned many valuable lessons during my time at Pitt, I do feel like should’ve done more with my time there.

While I was too busy enjoying my time and freedom, I was letting opportunities pass me by and not taking more initiative to find my passions and work towards goals. As graduation quickly approached and my peers were posting about great internship, job and grad school offers, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I had no idea where to go next. I didn’t have a career or job that I was particularly passionate about (I’m still struggling to figure this out) and I couldn’t see much past graduation day.

Upon returning home, the transition has definitely been difficult. I spend hours on social media looking at everyone else’s success stories and eager anticipation for their future endeavors. I can’t help but feel an emptiness about my own future. Applying for jobs is never easy, but it’s even worse not even knowing what direction to start in. At times it seems like I’m the only one stuck in the same spot. Even the people who don’t have a secured plan yet have a goal in mind.

Recently I’ve fallen into a pattern of extreme motivation about certain projects or career ideas and then followed by self-doubt which leads to me neglecting everything all together. I think the problem lies within having no direction in life and not knowing what my calling/passion is. My goal for the summer is to hone in on what truly makes me happy and start putting myself first more often. I’m always thinking about how other people feel and too often ignoring my own feelings.

This summer I plan to focus on bettering myself and building a stronger foundation. Here’s to a summer of self-love, self-awareness, blessings and happiness!

 

T

I made a Youtube channel?!

I finally did it! After months and months of contemplating whether or not I would start posting videos on my YouTube channel (I had a channel for about 3 years with no content on it), I decided to try making videos. I had always wanted to create a platform where I can share my love for makeup and beauty, while sharing my thoughts on different topics, but I was too scared to take the first step which was making my first video. t was definitely nerve wracking to finally publish it and make the video public on YouTube but I’m happy I did it and look forward to posting another really soon.

 

If anyone has any tips or advice for me and what I can do to improve my content or my channel I’m definitely welcome to hearing new ideas!

Check out my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCFG2uM6OtU0BQNAjEnggFg

And watch my new video!

T

So Hard to Say Goodbye

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Has eight years passed already?!

Not only has the Obama family brought grace and poise to the White House since they entered it in 2008, but we’ve accomplished so many things and made so much progress as a country having them as our nation’s leaders. Strides were made in gaining equal rights for all people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or religion. While there are still many things we need to address and fix about our country, President Obama has been pushing us in the right direction for the past eight years. With the events that took place on November 8 (the 2016 election), I can’t  help but feel like we’re moving backwards, erasing all the amazing progress we’ve made so far.

On this Inauguration Day, I’m sad to say goodbye to President Obama and his family but I hope that we can come together to fight for what is right. I hope that as people, we can beat hate, bigotry and negativity with love, acceptance and positivity, and that we continue making progress as a country.

Letting Go and Letting God

So here’s the T,

One of the things that helped me push through the end of 2016, along with a great support system of family and friends, was growing in my faith and spirituality. People have varying degrees of how close their relationship with God is, so I definitely understand that faith isn’t something that everyone can strongly relate to. Some people go to church every single Sunday without fail and have an extremely close relationship with God; others don’t really have any relationship with God at all and some people, like myself, fall somewhere in the middle.

Growing up, I was raised Roman Catholic, following after the example of my mom and her side of my family. My dad isn’t religious and I’m not even sure what his opinions are about faith and believing in God because he doesn’t talk about it much, so all of my experiences with religion as a child were based on Catholic traditions and practices. I went through all the holy sacraments, went to Catholic Sunday school as a kid and I even attended Catholic school from the 5th grade all the way through high school. Despite growing up in a predominantly Catholic environment for most of my life, I just didn’t feel connected to it. I felt like I was going through the motions, believing because I had to. Being the naturally curious person that I was, and still am today, I started to have so many doubts when it came to religion. There were so many questions that didn’t have simple and concrete answers and I had issues with blindly believing in something without being able to fully understand it.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college when I decided that I wanted to strengthen my faith in God again. At a time in my life with so much growth and change, there were so many times where I felt lost, and leaning on friends and family wasn’t enough. I started by going to a Catholic church down the road from my dorm and I had the same experience with religion that I’ve always had. I didn’t feel connected to it. I was just going through the motions. It wasn’t until the next year that I went to a Baptist church a few times with some of my friends, that I really felt a strong connection to my faith again. This isn’t to say that one practice is better than the other, but it’s important to try out new things find where you feel the most comfortable and in what types of environment allow you to truly strengthen your relationship with God. Personally, I found that within a Baptist church. I felt like I was finally connecting with my faith and learning something whenever I went.

I’m still growing and still learning more about myself and God, and I like to take everyday as a new opportunity to become closer to God. As a soon to be college graduate, I have a lot of anxiety about graduating and looking for jobs, possibly applying to grad school and I don’t feel ready for any of it. One of my biggest weaknesses is my fear of the unknown and not allowing myself to live in the moment. I’m always trying to plan everything out so that there’s no uncertainty because I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t. That’s where having faith comes in. God won’t bring you to something if he can’t bring you through it and while it’s not an easy lesson to learn, I think it’s an important one. Being able to trust that God has a plan for me and that I’ll be okay in the long run really helps me to put things in my life into perspective and be brave enough to take more chances without being afraid of what’s to come in my future.

T

A Change That I Embrace

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First things first, Happy Natural Anniversary to me!

It’s been exactly one year since I buzzed off all my hair (again) and started on a natural hair journey. My hair was heat damaged, dry and overall needed some serious help so I decided that I needed a fresh start. I’m honestly surprised at how much my hair has grown since then. There was a period of time around month 5 and 6 where I wondered if my hair would ever make it past the awkward stage.

One thing that I learned helps a lot is having patience with your hair. You can’t expect to look in the mirror one day, and the next day your hair is six inches longer. It takes patience and dedication to truly see growth. Luckily for me, I can’t keep my hair the same way for more than two months or I start getting antsy.

I love to switch things up between my natural hair, braids, straightened hair and I even tried out my first wig this year. I usually maintain the same style for about a month and a half to two months, making sure to cleanse and take care of my real hair underneath. By the time I take the style out, I usually can see a small difference in length, thickness and overall health.

New hairstyles and hair growth are two changes I welcome with open arms and I’m excited to see where my hair will be in another year!

T

Accepting Change and New Beginnings

So here’s the T,

We can all agree that 2016 was terrible for almost everyone. Some good things happened of course, (Frank Ocean finally released his album after a million years and it was definitely worth the wait) but so many bad things happened that seemed to overshadow the good. Yes, Donald Trump actually won the presidential election and yes, we are sadly losing the ability to call Obama our president. So many great artists and legends passed away and it seemed like everyday, something tragic happened. No, it wasn’t all just a really bad dream; it was our reality. Tragic. At least we had some great music to get us through it.

On a more personal note, 2016 actually started off pretty decently for me. I started a tradition two years ago where I would write a personal letter to myself on January 1st, reflecting back on the past year and where I am in that moment. I don’t open or read the letter until December 31st of that year and it’s always interesting to see how much has changed and also, what has stayed the same. By far, last year was the most optimistic I had been since I was young. I felt like I was finally coming into my own, leaving the awkward stages of teenage-hood and blossoming into an adult. I was hopeful for the new beginnings and new chances 2016 would bring. Looking back on last year’s letter, I had so many aspirations and plans to make the year truly great for myself. One problem, God had other plans.

September was the beginning of what would become a very long semester of stress. I’m the type of person who has to know exactly what I’m getting myself into and know each and every detail of something before I get comfortable with it. I like to think I’m super adaptable, but it’s definitely conditional. As long as the change isn’t personal or too close to home, I can handle it. In classes, in a job, I’m great at adapting to new situations. When things start getting uprooted and changed in my own life however, that’s when I start to get stressed. I’m also not very good at letting go and moving on from things that are important to me. This past semester has been the HARDEST time of my life so far. 2016 brought to end a very long-term relationship and took some other opportunities right out of my hands. Most of the things that I was working towards didn’t seem to be working out, I still had no idea what I wanted to do after college, and I truly felt like I had no control over what was happening in my life. By the time December came around, I couldn’t’ wait to go on winter break and hide out for the rest of the year at home and that’s exactly what I did.

The month of December was all about healing and coming to terms with the end of certain chapters in my life. It was definitely not easy, but being at home around my family and having discussions about my future and the goals I have for myself really helped me see things clearly. I’m only 21. I’m still young and though my life isn’t where I thought it would be, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the chance to have the life I imagined for myself. People will come in and out of your life for a season and a reason. Sometimes, their purpose is to get you to the next point in your journey, and sometimes they are just meant to teach you a lesson. I still have time to figure out what I want to do with my career and make plans for after I graduate. I’m learning how to accept the changes I experience in my life and not allowing my past to negatively affect my future. I can’t go back and change the course of my life so I have to accept where I am now and appreciate how far I’ve come.

 

T