Thoughts on art

Creativity has always been a big part of my life. Before I even started kindergarten, I loved to draw. By the time I was nine, I was filling my journals with poetry. In high school, my life revolved around singing and acting. And for the past six years I’ve been focusing primarily on writing poems, fiction, articles, web copy, plays, and of course blog posts.

As I transitioned into my “adult” years, it felt important for me to hold onto my inner artist. I knew too many people who grew up and left the passions and talents of their teen years behind them, trading them in for more practical jobs and the responsibilities of family life. There is nothing wrong with making money and there is nothing wrong with having a family. I certainly aspire to these things in my own way. And I am without a doubt a creature who values comfort and stability.

But I never wanted to be someone who let go of her passions just because she got older. But I realize this line of thinking was flawed in a sense, because holding onto the passions of my teen years potentially stopped me from developing new interests. And it may have made me a bit closed-minded in the things I pursued, deciding too early on who I am and who I am not.

I also realize that, contrary to what I may have thought, passion and business don’t always go hand in hand. Just because you enjoy an activity, it doesn’t mean you will enjoy the process of trying to do it for a living. I love writing, but I don’t love selling things, making my work as an self-published author bittersweet. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but trying to sell books has also made me feel like there’s a barrier between me and my ultimate goal, which is to connect with people.

Writing for online magazines can be quite fun, especially since comment sections can be so interactive. It brings me great joy to see someone share thought-provoking ideas based on an article I wrote. To see that someone was so invested in your writing that they decided to leave a comment can be wonderful, and it offers a feeling of instant gratification that one doesn’t often get when it comes to writing.

Attempting to make money in the world of marketing, copywriting, and public relations has also been interesting, informative, but ultimately not terribly lucrative for me. High competition plus a lack of deep interest on my part has not made this a fun ride.

When I meet other people who are trying to make money writing, I hear about how they’ve hopped from job to job, perhaps haven’t always been paid as much as they’re worth, and have been taken advantage of or dropped by companies that made promises they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep. I feel like I have a quiet understanding with these people. So many writers are dedicated, smart, and hardworking.

We’re expected to have fast turnover times but may be slow to receive paychecks. It takes a special kind of grit to try to make a career in business (or any kind of) writing. There is so much (seriously, SO MUCH) advice on the internet about how to break into writing for money. It’s a path I have attempted. It is also a path I am happy to trade for one of less resistance.

The thing that no one tells you about being an artist is that you are a salesperson first, an artist second. If you’re going to make it full time or even part time as an artist, you have to be a businessperson above all else. Marketing is necessary, and may even take more time than the artwork itself. Even when I was a girl scout selling cookies, I never liked the feeling of trying to convince someone to buy something. I never outgrew this lack of interest in sales.

Whether you’re a writer, painter, actor, or musician, you have to sell your work in most cases, especially if you are independent. The age of social media, in my opinion, creates unrealistic expectations about how easy it should be to get hundreds or thousands of people interested in your work. It can feel like attention and fame are of utmost importance, and that is never the reason I wanted to make art. The success of a creative person is almost always equated with some level of fame or influencer status. But trying to get many peoples’ approval has never been at the top of my list.

I still have a desire to make things and connect with others. So it’s confusing and I don’t really know what I want. I wish I could just be the little girl who painted on a canvas in her bedroom. The girl who scribbled poetry in her grandmother’s living room. The girl who sang in the music room and studied monologues over lunch. I was happy living in the process of doing all of these things. Back then, these things were done for passion.

But I’m at a point where if I’m going to do work, I want it to be part of my career. I want it to be the mark I leave on the world. Maybe a love for art isn’t enough to make a career of it. Maybe making a career of it creates a process I don’t enjoy. I don’t know what any of this means for my inner artist. But I think that I’m not so afraid of letting go of my former self. I know that I need to make room for all of the things that I can be. And I know that after six years of constant productivity, I deserve a break, or least less pressure to achieve such large career goals.

I always go back to writing and art. I always find my way back to music and dancing and self-expression. It’s an extension of me. But that doesn’t mean it’s all I am. I don’t think I need to be afraid of letting go of the past. I’m allowed to evolve and grow. Growing up is weird, messy, and complicated. It is change. But evolution can be exciting. I don’t have to stay on any one path. And if I know that, then I’m free to be who I want to be.

 

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My Career Goals Over the Years

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We all get asked this question at various stages in our lives. What no one tells you is that adults still feel as though they are wandering, and they still ask themselves this question. I think the U.S has an especially career-centric culture, in some places more than others. I live in New York, and while I live in the suburbs, I feel like there’s still a very fast-paced atmosphere where “What do you do?” is the first thing someone asks you.

I definitely know of people who say they don’t need a career that defines them. They feel a job is just a job, and it allows them to put food on the table and that’s all that matters. I sort of envy people who genuinely feel this way. Having a career that I can be passionate about has always been important to me. And I want to surround myself with people who feel passionately about their work as well. I don’t think people who value their careers are necessarily happier, in fact I think people like this are never satisfied, but I do think they’re the ones who blaze trails. I want to blaze a trail and leave my mark on the world.

Still, I wasn’t one of the those people who’s always known what she wanted to be. When I was a kid, the first career I remember aspiring to was wanting to be a pastry chef. I told my mom that I would open a bakery and make cupcakes for her all the time.

When we played the game Life (ya know, that board game that takes a hellishly long time to complete), I always was excited when I was able to pick the artist card for my career. Instinctively I knew I just NEEDED to be some sort of artist. And in many ways, I’ve done that for the past few years. I’ve written a bunch of poetry and fiction, wrote for a magazine, made lots of art, and I’ve been very poor.

No one tells you how lonely and challenging being an artist can really be. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. But I realized that being able to support myself and having something to fall back on is super important. I can’t rely on getting a job by chance, like my parents many other Boomers did.

When I was a little older, I decided I wanted to be an interior designer. I thought that sounded like the funnest job ever (and I still do!), and I used to draw designs in my sketch pad.

Sometime around middle school, my aspirations became more social. I went through a phase where I wanted to be a massage therapist, and I would give massages to people in my family. By the time I reached high school, I’d decided that I wanted to be a pediatrician because I wanted to help kids.

Through all of these ideas, the arts were still very important to me. They were my passion. I still liked to draw and write poetry. I liked singing in my music classes. I didn’t always like high school, but my arts classes always kept me going. Things really changed for me in the tenth grade when I started acting.

I performed, took acting classes, did shows through my church, and took every opportunity I could to stay involved with theater. During my senior year, I attended an arts high school alongside my regular one and was a drama major there. I was surrounded by lot of other people who planned to study theater in college, so it inspired me to pursue theater in college as well.

By the time I’d taken my SAT’s and applied to college, I’d decided that I wanted to pursue a career as an actress. I went on auditions, and got accepted to a few theater programs. It was all really fun! But by the time I’d gotten to college, I felt really pressured to have a plan for my life, and I just didn’t have one.

I had way too many passions that I wanted to follow my career. I wanted to act, I wanted to write, I wanted to sing, I wanted to help people. I wanted too many things at once, and it gave me a lot of stress. By my sophomore year, I’d changed my major to English so I could focus on writing, but I still had a lot of ambition with no real plan.

It’s not that I thought a theater or English degree would get me a job. But I did think that, like most people I knew, I could get a job unrelated to what I studied. I imagined myself working in an office somewhere while I pursued my art on the side, or maybe working in advertising or publishing. I didn’t realize how hard it would really be to get a job in the communications field.

Now, I’m back to having goals in more social careers. I’m pursuing a master’s degree in social work, and I have a plan to be a mental health counselor, or to work in higher education as a career counselor, professor, or some sort of program director. It’s good, because it fulfills that desire I’ve always had to help others.

As for the artist in me, she’s still there, burning with lots of passion but not much direction unfortunately. I’ve done a lot of writing, but it’s not all I want to do, and it’s not all I want to be known for. I want to keep writing, but I also want to make visual art. I want to perform. I want to use the arts to address social issues as well. This is an area where I don’t have as concrete of a vision, probably because it’s much more self-motivated than other kinds of work, and it’s motivated by something other than money.

I learned a few years ago that my career types are artistic, social, and investigative. This makes a lot of sense, and it fits in with everything I’ve ever wanted to do. My personality type is also INFJ, and being an artist and social worker fits well with that as well. It feels good to know that there’s different types of work that can fit each of us.

I’m 24, and I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. But I have more clarity than I did before, I’m more knowledgeable about my opportunities. I don’t want a job that’s just a job. I want something I can be passionate about. My ambitions have changed a bit over the years, but one thing hasn’t. I don’t want to settle. I want to find work that is right for me.

I hate freelance writing, and you can, too.

freelancing1

This is kind of a tongue in cheek post 🙂 I think everyone who enjoys writing has considered, at one time or another, the idea of trying to turn freelance writing into a career, or at least a side hustle. In this glorious information age, there are a lot of people out there sharing information about how, through the glorious power of freelancing, they were able to quit their 9-5 and be their own boss, working from anywhere while they sip Mojitos and sing along to the sweet sound of freedom.

There’s lots of advice for how one can get started in a freelance writing career. These tips often include: creating a website, starting a blog (wink wink), choosing a niche, cold pitching, the list goes on.

For a while I thought that enjoying writing meant that I should enjoy freelancing, too. But the truth is, it’s not the thing that fuels my soul. And the incredible amount of work you need to do to build, and maintain, a freelance writing career is just. not. worth it to me. A lot of people swear by freelance copywriting and writing for businesses, but honestly? I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I love wordsmithing as much as the next person, but hey, to each their own.

A lot of people want to work freelance, but have no idea how to get started. I also see many people in forums centered around this topic, who almost act kind of, um, superior and indignant when someone doesn’t want their services. It’s an honest living if you can get it, but I think internet gurus with popular blogs and YouTube channels make people think this job may be a bit more in demand than it really is.

The only thing I really know about this kind of work is that, if you want to succeed, there has to be a need (it rhymes, so it must be true 🙂 ) So, who needs freelance writers? Some of these clients include:

Magazines

Newspapers

Blogs and Media Websites

Advertising and other Creative Agencies

Businesses and Large Nonprofits

People tend to find these gigs by cold pitching or applying to freelance jobs on Craigslist or other job boards. The really successful people sometimes get clients coming to them through their website or blog if they’re popular enough, but it’s rare for a beginner to get work that way, based on what I’ve seen.

I written for magazines, websites, blogs, and a creative agency. I haven’t built a six figure business after developing a niche in six months (this does seem to be the magic number for most gurus), but I’ve done enough different kinds of freelance work to know it’s not what I want, at least not right now. I’m at a place in my life where working for one company full time is the ideal. That may just be my personality, anyway.

I’ve also made more money selling my poetry books than I have from writing for other people. Go figure! Some people may be content earning the big bucks writing case studies, grant proposals, and ad copy. And seriously, all power to them. But I realize that I like writing, but it doesn’t mean I have to want ANY career that involves words 😉

Maybe someone can relate to this post. Or maybe it’s just me lol. I just feel like a lot of people out there are trying to freelance full time. And I see so many people getting discouraged when the advice from the gurus doesn’t work for them. You don’t have to work freelance just because everyone else across the interwebs is doing it.

My career so far has been a lot of trial and error. I’ve tried things. Some worked, some didn’t. Some things stuck, some didn’t. It’s all a process. What works for someone else may not work for you. Someone may think your approach couldn’t possibly work, but you might prove them wrong.

Do whatever works for you. Follow your arrow. And if you’ve been thinking, researching, and wondering if you should start a freelance writing career, know that you absolutely can go for it.

You just might hate it as much as I do 🙂

Life after college: hacking my education

There’s a lot of pressure when you graduate from college. It feels like you’re expected to automatically start doing big, amazing things (while earning an impressive paycheck). But the reality is, transitioning into the “real world” doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. Life is a journey and we are always growing.

There’s also this feeling that adulthood is this one, big thing that we have to have all planned out. But the truth is, it’s not like that at all. Everyday is a new beginning. And a new chance to learn, grow, connect, create, and be our best selves.

I spent a long time feeling stressed out about whether I should go to grad school or not. I still might, but I know if I do it, it will be for the same reason I did undergrad. Not for money or a job, but for personal enrichment.

School provides structure and gives you an idea for what a few years of your life will look like, and that’s super tempting to go back to. But it also costs a lot of money. And unless you have a specific career in mind (that you will actually enjoy doing), it’s not always worth the investment.

I realize that I don’t need grad school or community college to learn new skills. I want to attend workshops and learn new skills outside of traditional classrooms. There’s several things I’d like to learn more about, from coding to design to business. I want to hack my education, because the truth is, there is always room to grow and to better myself.

Having a degree gives you certain credentials, and how much you need advanced degrees depends on the job you want. I know that I don’t want to be limited to doing one kind of job, and so I want to do what I can to keep my options open.

I’ve been out of college for a year, and my idea of what I want in life has changed a lot as I’ve experienced different things. I realize that I need to be patient and open-minded. This is my journey, and I am doing just fine with where I am.

I used to think it was so important to have a career. But what matters to me now is having a Life’s Work. There are some kinds of work that you will do, and maybe it won’t get you a lot of money, but it’s still valid and it still matters.

I’m trying to take life one day at a time. And trying not to worry about the future. I don’t need to impress anyone or live the way anyone else thinks I should live.

The world is my oyster. And as I think about hacking my education, gaining new skills, and trying different things, I feel like that statement is true.

I’m doing okay, and so are you.

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#MyThoughts

 

My Trip to Vegas 2016

I just got back from Vegas yesterday. It was my first time on the West Coast. We got up early on Saturday to check our luggage and go through the long lines and familiar security checkpoints at the airport. I bought Kind bars and water and braced myself for the six hour flight to sunny Nevada. I’d packed as light as I could. My suitcase only contained clothes and toiletries. In my purse, I had my medicine, my phone, money, lotion, and a pair of earbuds I’d bought when I got my snacks.

 

By the time we’d boarded the plane, I was all set. I turned on my music and got lost in the beats, getting rid of any anxiety I might have had about taking off. I loved being in the air. I loved looking out the window to see an expanse of blue skies and clouds. Below us were houses, trees, roads, cars, fields, mountains, lakes, rivers, and people going about their daily lives. For a short while, I was distant from everything that held me down on the ground. If nothing else, flying reminds me that miracles are real.

 

When our plane finally touched the ground, I felt the heat. Nevada was definitely warmer than home. There was air conditioning coming through the vents, but I still felt the difference. I listened to my music and waited for people to start filing out of the plane because I SERIOUSLY needed to pee. When I got inside the airport, my first stop was the bathroom.  And then walked around, amused at the fact that there were slot machines set up around the airport the way coin operated kiddie rides are set up around the mall for toddlers. Five minutes in Vegas, and I was already seeing levers and neon lights. There was also a Vegas gift shop with a lit up sign (where I bought three keychains for ten dollars). It all screamed “welcome to sin city!” I did feel welcome, and I was quite excited.

 

Walking through the airport, we passed animal sculptures, like a turtle, bunny and iguana that looked like they were made out of dessert rock. I couldn’t resist taking a picture or two. We got on a monorail that brought us to the area that had our luggage, met up with our family, and took a shuttle to the hotel. Along the way, we passed various landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, all structures of themed hotels that I would later see in more detail. When we got to the MGM Grand, I welcomed the cool air conditioning and cushioned seats that let us rest while we waited for our room keys. When it came time to go up to our rooms, it felt like we’d officially arrived.

 

The room was nice, but I was little disappointed that I’d have to sleep on a sofa bed. I didn’t think it would be comfortable and I was right, so that wasn’t great. Outside the window, we had a nice view of the strip with its cluster of large hotels. We could see the mountains in the distance and the sky was blue and clear. The first night, we ate at the MGM Grand buffet. The food was good and I sampled a bit of anything vegetarian. My favorite things there were probably the mac and cheese and the apple tart.

 

On day two, we went to eat breakfast at the Pyramid Café at the Luxor. To get there, were did quite a bit of walking before we got to a location that let us take the monorail. The weather outside was actually not too bad that day. The heat felt nice and not too overwhelming. I got to see everything from New York, New York to Paris to a castle, to the pyramid. It was nice to be outside amidst the palm trees and the bustle of tourists. When we made it to the Luxor, we got to walk through the massive, black pyramid and made our way to the café. As with most tourist attractions, we had to walk through the casino to get to the restaurant, and the casinos were filled with the smell of cigarette smoke. This wasn’t the best for me because I have asthma and had to cover my face with my scarf whenever I walked through them. The café was near the casino, but was far enough that the cigarette smell didn’t really travel there. I ordered iced tea and a churro waffle that had cinnamon, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and caramel. It was sooo good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

 

Later that day, we walked to the Venetian which is probably my favorite hotel in Vegas. It is an absolute fairytale. The architecture leading into the building is beautiful, with lovely columns and painted ceilings. In the shopping area, the ceiling is sky blue and is painted with white clouds, giving the illusion that you are outside, walking along a street in Italy. There were cute (though overpriced) shops and a variety of restaurants selling pasta, wine, and cappuccinos. There were people dressed in Victorian costumes and singing opera music, as well as people going on gondola rides along the indoor river. It was lovely.

 

Back at the MGM, I’d also managed to get a quick look at one of the wedding chapels. It was beautiful and there were pictures of famous (and I think non-famous) people kissing and in love. The chapels themselves were elegant and had a sacred feeling to them that I didn’t expect to find in the city of casinos, cigarettes, and liquor.

 

Later that night, we stayed at the MGM to eat at the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill for my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. The staff was nice and the food was scrumptious. They gave us garlic and buttered bread and the water I drank was cool and refreshing. I ordered the mushroom ravioli and it was delicious. I wasn’t so hungry, but was super glad to have leftovers to bring back to my room.

 

In the midst of all this, I had gone on Twitter when I first heard about the tragic shooting in Orlando. My heart broke when I turned on the news and saw that forty-nine people had been killed at Pulse. This was a safe space for LGBT people and someone took too many innocent lives. A lot of the victims were no older than me and they had their whole lives ahead of them. I watched the coverage on the news and cried when I saw the candlelit tributes, heard people sing in solidarity, saw the rainbow flags that were held in the air, and heard the names and saw the faces of some of the victims.

 

There were people who survived the shooting but lost their best friends. I’m tearing up as I write this because it’s just so sad. It’s even more upsetting that this happened to people in the queer community who were in a place where they felt safe to be themselves. They were having a regular, fun night and then this happens. I am endlessly praying for the injured and for the loved ones of the victims.

 

My heart was heavy for the rest of the trip and it still is. It’s even sadder because it’s Pride Month. I really hope that one day we can live in a world without terror and violence. I believe that love really does win. JK Rowling says we have the power to “imagine better.” I hope we can imagine a better future, and I hope we can create it.

 

I thought about what happened in Orlando, and I thought about Sandy Hook and Columbine and Colorado and all of the terrible mass shootings that have taken place in the States.

 

There are more good people than bad people. Anne Frank was able to believe that, and I believe it, too. I also believe that we can make this world better, and we can help each other, and we can heal.

 

I sat in my hotel room, cried, and sent prayers and good thoughts to all affected. I carried what happened in Orlando around in my heart for the remainder of the trip.

 

 

The third day, I went down to a frozen yogurt place located in the MGM and ordered iced tea and the Congo, a crepe with bananas, Nutella, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. It was so, so yummy.  I waited a while to get it because there had been a lot of people who ordered food there, but it was worth the wait. The cashier was friendly and her happy energy was contagious. When I got my food, I sat at a little table and enjoyed each sweet bite. I couldn’t finished the whole thing, which meant more leftovers for me later.

 

After breakfast, I walked a few feet over to an art gallery and looked around at paintings and beautiful nature photographs. Good food and art? It was like a perfect morning for me! Afterwards, I went over to the Cirque Du Soleil gift shop. Outside it, there was a fake dragon that roared every few minutes while clips from the show played on little TV screens hanging above it. I looked around at the masks, t-shirts, purses, CDs, juggling balls, mugs, silly hats, and magnets that were colorful and fun. I ended up buying a Cirque Du Soleil DVD (next best thing to seeing the show live, right?) and a chocolate bar. (The chocolate was pretty good. I haven’t watched the DVD yet). Happy with my purchases, I went back to my room to put my crepe in the fridge, ate my chocolate bar, and drank some sprite.

 

Later that day, we all got together to eat pizza. Afterward I got to see the Jabbawockeez dance show. It was funny, interactive, and a wonderful show of dancing, skits, lights, audience participation, and cool visuals. I don’t really like audience participation in shows, but I wasn’t one of the people plucked from the crowd, so I enjoyed seeing other people being put on the spot. I wouldn’t have liked it much if I had to go up there. Still, the show was a unique experience and great fun.

 

The day after that, it was our last full day in Vegas. I slept in, took a bath, and wanted to rest up before travelling home the next day. I got a sandwich from Starbucks and a couple of things from a little snack shop, and hung out in the hotel room alone for a few hours when everyone else went out. I felt good, but also homesick and my stomach had been hurting a bit since the day before. I’m still not sure why that was. I did go out later that evening and walked along the strip. My parents met up with friends and I went over to the New York area to look around Hershey’s chocolate shop. I saw jumbo sized candy bars and jewelry and with silver Hershey kiss pendants. There was a bakery section with pastries, chocolate cannolis, and big cookies. There was also a chocolate Statue of Liberty sculpture.

 

Outside the shop, there was an outdoor section with little tables, chairs, and trees that resembled a New York City park, complete with a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge. A woman was there singing with her guitar. She sounded good and I like to support artists, so I put a dollar in her jar and listened as she sang a Carrie Underwood cover. It was nice standing in the shade and listening to the music with the little group of people who were listening along with me. Afterward, I walked over the bridge and went to Starbucks to get a nice, cool bottle of water. The singer had reminded us to stay hydrated, and I thought it was a good idea to follow her advice. It was a lot hotter than it had been a couple of days ago.

 

I went back to my hotel to charge my phone. Then I met up with my family a little later in the food court. I waited on line for twenty minutes at Tacos and Ritas and ordered cheese quesadillas with sour cream and guacamole. The wait was kind of long, but all the same, the food was good. I was tired, but considering it was our last night in Vegas, there was still one thing I wanted to see before we left—Paris.

 

My dad and I got on a Monorail and headed over to Bally’s where the Eiffel Tower was located. We walked past the casinos (and more cigarette smoke) and walked through the Paris section of the hotel. I looked around the shops and saw cute bags, brushes, jewelry, mini fashion designs, clothes, and post cards. Like at the Venetian, the ceiling was painted to look like the sky. I found a shop where things were reasonably priced and got a colorful pen and a notepad. In a restaurant, there were two guys playing a dual piano and singing. There were restaurants that sold gelato, coffee, macaroons and all kinds of yummy looking treats. The Venetian was prettier, but Paris seemed to have more food options. I would definitely want to try them when I go back, especially those macaroons.

 

Before heading outside, I stopped at the restroom which was also quite pretty. The walls and sinks were painted with flowers and the mirrors were round with golden frames. Afterward, we headed outside, and I realized we still hadn’t seen the Eiffel Tower. We did a bit of walking until we found it around the corner. It was so much cooler up close! I’ve never been to Paris, France, but this felt like the next best thing. It was beautiful and enchanting. The tower itself was impressive and huge. Back inside, one could take an elevator up to the tower to eat at the Eifeel Tower Restaurant. I didn’t eat there, but it has good reviews and I hear you need a reservation to get in. After taking more than enough pictures of the lovely tower, we went across the street to see the water show. It played every fifteen minutes, each time to a different song. We watched it once, and then a second time to get a better view of the show of water and lights. The second time around, the song was Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”  

 

The moon was shining with a handful of stars, but it was hot out. There were a few artists on the sidewalk selling caricatures. The palm trees swayed in an occasional breeze and there were lots of people out and about, and a lot of cars on the road. We went over to Caesars Palace to find the Coliseum, but I was disappointed to find that it was an entertainment venue, not a tourist attraction (like the Eiffel Tower and New York, New York had been).

 

I was super tired by the time I got back to the hotel. I washed up, finished packing, and got ready to sleep for two and half hours until I had to get ready to go to the airport. I couldn’t wait to get home to my comfortable bed, but I also didn’t want to leave. I had mixed feelings. I had done so much walking that day that my toe had started bleeding. I didn’t realize this until the morning when I looked at my toe, which I assumed had just gotten scraped a bit, and saw that it was covered in dried blood. It hurt a bit when I walked, so I kept on my sweat pants and wore slippers to the airport. (This was really convenient when I went through the security checkpoints).

 

I got some water and snacks and felt ready to go home. On the shuttle ride to the airport, I took a few last looks at all the hotels and palm trees. I said a silent goodbye to Vegas. I would miss it. I got out my boarding pass, found my seat on the plane, and took off for what would be an overall pleasant flight. There was a baby that cried on occasion, and I imagine it wasn’t so nice for the baby to ride on a plane. All the same, thank God for earbuds.

 

When we landed back in New York, I felt a little disappointed. I missed the palm trees. But I felt good when we got back to my hometown, and even better when I got back to my house. I missed my room. I missed watching my TV and using my laptop and being in my own space. And y’all, it goes without saying that I slept WELL last night. I slept in and it was wonderful. I did wake up a couple of times missing Vegas and the city lights. Still, I had a good night’s rest.

 

My foot is still healing and I’m tired and resting. That, and I wanted to talk to you guys. To anyone who might be reading this. I know this post is a bit long, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. Now I’m back home and looking forward to new adventures, big and small.

 

I miss the West Coast. And the fact that I was there to miss it all is pretty wonderful. Vegas captured my heart. I also really prefer flying to other modes of transportation. (I hate riding in cars tbh). Now I’m home. And home is good.

 

So, yeah, that was my Vegas trip. I wanted to write it down. I wanted to have memories and I wanted to share it with you. Thank you, as always, for reading.

 

Xoxo.

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#Thoughts

 

 

The Liebster Award

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I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful poet and sensitive soul, Cameron D. Hamilton from

https://hamiltonfox.wordpress.com

liebster-rules

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Here are my answers to his questions:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging? I wanted to share my work with others and connect with a community of creative people:)
  2. What’s your idea of a perfect first date? Oh gosh, let’s see. I would love to get lunch and go for a walk in the park. Maybe go to an art gallery so we have interesting things to talk about.
  3. If you could live anywhere where would it be? Right now I would say California. But the world is a big place! There’s so many exciting and beautiful places. I’d like to live somewhere with good nature spots, a variety of restaurants, museums, but also a place that is affordable.
  4. Nightowl or Day hawk? I love the night. It’s quiet and you have the beauty of the moon and the stars. However, I also love sleep and tend to wake up early. I think I’m a Night owl who acts like a Day Hawk.
  5. When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up? A pastry chef or a pediatrician.
  6. Do you prefer long or short hair? (on yourself and on your love interest?) I prefer long hair for me, but that’s mostly because my hair is curly and already looks shorter than it is, plus is wouldn’t grow back that fast if I cut it. On a love interest, whatever they’re happiest with:) Girl or guy, whatever makes them feel like themselves.
  7. What’s your favourite Summer Holiday memory? Any time spent with my family. Also just nice, hot days in nature or by the ocean.
  8. What’s the movie you’ve watched the most? Ugh, so many lol. Pirates of the Carribean, Beauty and the Beast, V for Vendetta, Sweeny Todd, Rent, The Devil Wears Prada. Then you have holiday classics, like Home Alone (the second one is my fave).
  9. What’s your guilty pleasure food? Chocolate, hands down. I also love french fries and fried food in general.
  10. Jedi or Sith? Do you consider yourself a paragon of light or a renegade in the dark? Jedi and light for sure. (I could turn any time though. So watch out haha).
  11. What is your biggest pet peeve (the answer better not be me!) It is you! Lol. Nah, my biggest pet peeve is people not being sensitive of my feelings or personal space. Also small talk. I hate that.

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Eleven Facts About Me

1-I have a Bachelor’s degree in English.

2-I’ve been writing poetry since I was in the fourth grade.

3-I’m a vegetarian.

4-I am an only child.

5-I’ve seen Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Kieza, Tegan and Sara, Christina Perri, and Natalie Cole live in concert.

6-I love The Great Gatsby even though I’ve never read it.

7-My birth flower is Lily of the Valley.

8-I love burritos.

9-I still buy CDs and prefer listening to full albums.

10-I have seen Beauty and the Beast, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Chicago, Wicked, Memphis, and The Cripple of Inishmann on Broadway. I have also seen the Rockettes. Off Broadway I have seen Fame, West Side Story, and Kristen Chenoweth in concert.

11-The first time I did acting, I was in a skit where the words were poetic and rhymed.

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These are the blogs I nominate. Some of these blogs may have well over 200 followers, but they are lovely and everyone should follow them:)

https://themischiefmemoirs.com

https://starsrainsunmoon.com

https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com

https://ayearofreadingtheworld.com

https://ashortconversation.wordpress.com

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My questions for those I nominated are:

1-What was your favorite childhood toy?

2-Who is your role model?

3-What gives you hope when you’re going through a hard time?

4-What’s a random act of kindness you’ve witnessed or recieved?

5-If you could go on vacation with any famous person, who would it be?

6-What have you learned about yourself in the last year?

7-What’s your favorite holiday?

8-If you could have the power to turn into an animal, which animal would you choose?

9-What used to scare you that you are no longer afraid of?

10-Do you prefer having lots of alone time or lots of time with other people?

11-What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

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This was fun. Thank you Cameron! I’m writing this on my phone, so I’m trying to be brief while still covering everything. Thanks for reading and for being lovely:)

-Ashley

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#Awards, thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Lipstick

She hides behind dark lipstick

Her hair covers her face

She thinks, “If they can’t see me, they can’t judge me.”

It is her only self defense

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She nurtures the song inside of her

She creates behind closed doors

One day, her work will make them want her

For now, she is ignored.

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#poetry