Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH, and welcome to the last day of Blogust 2018!
The journey has been a ride, might I tell you.
Blogust, although decided very last minute, was something that I’m very glad that I did. It allowed me to stay productive during a mellow summer, and it allowed me to get back in the swing of things after not doing so for most of the year. Honestly, I thought I was going to stop writing and posting after, like, ten days, so I’m very glad to see that we got through all 31 days of Blogust with content that I was very proud of writing.
After 31 days of posts, ya girl is taking a well-needed break away for a week!
Since tomorrow is Saturday, normally there would be a Self-Appreciation Saturday being ready to publish at noon, but I do need to gather myself and begin planning for the weeks ahead, and a nice week away from the blog will give me that time.
So yes, after today, TNTH will be back on its regular schedule, which is Tuesdays and Saturdays at noon, respectively.
Again, thank you so much for supporting TNTH, and for being a part of such a fun series! Of course, we’ll be back with more series like this during the holiday season for Twelve Days of TNTHmas, as well as in January 2019 for TNTH’s 2nd Anniversary Blogging Celebration! Hopefully, there’ll be another month dedicated to daily blogging… maybe February since it is the shortest day of the year…
Although there is a whole subcategory section where all the Blogust posts live, here are some of my favorites that I enjoyed writing for the month:
17-year-old MOLLIE is sitting near the fireplace with her best-friend, MILO. A homework assignment they were working on is now put on hold due to the electric wires being knocked out during a windy thunderstorm. This family never learns their lesson.
While Milo sits next to the fire, knees close to his chin and a blanket wrapping around his body, he sees Mollie trying to plug her phone through the various portable chargers she has bought over the years. None of them are charged. Very likely of Mollie to do. She sets her phone next to her and then takes a deep breath while grabbing her head. Milo keeps looking on.
Milo: You can live without texting Weston for a little bit, Mol.
Mollie: Yeah, you of all people should be telling me that, Mr. “I gotta text Soph at every minute of the day, and Snapchat her dumb shit whenever something’s “hashtag relatable”.
Milo: Don’t be mad because I’m completely myself with my girlfriend.
Mollie looks over at Milo with scrunched up, angry eyebrows.
Mollie: What the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Milo: Oh c’mon, Mol, we’ve been friends since birth. We’re practically family. I know the way you act around Weston, acting like you’re such this perfect person. Weston isn’t gonna like you if you keep acting like something you’re not.
Mollie: And if you keep acting like this pussy whipped kid to a girl who hangs out with the plastics, you’re gonna get your heart and ass handed to you, buddy. So stop telling me how to live my life, Milo.
Ouch. Milo laughs and shakes his head in disbelief.
Milo: Okay, Mol. Talk to me when you get a reality check.
As Milo gets up from the floor to move to another room, Mollie is not finished giving her best-friend a piece of her mind.
Mollie: You know, that’s the problem I have with you, Mi. You think just because you get better grades than me and that you’re a part of all these clubs in school and your girlfriend is a girl that I bet slept with everyone in that damn vocal room, you think you’re better than me, or you feel obligated to look over me like I’m some kid. I don’t need you breathing down my back telling me what to do because granted, you don’t even know me.
Milo takes in everything that has just been said. He looks at Mollie like he doesn’t know who she is anymore. The person he shared secrets to, confessions to, the one person he was able to confine with when things got bad. The person he calls his best friend, just sounded like his number one enemy. He sits back down to face Mollie, furious of what she just said.
Milo: Let’s get one thing straight, Mollie, just because you refuse to get to know Sophie as an actual human being doesn’t automatically make her this “class slut” just because her friends walk around with that reputation proudly. If you actually got to know her like the rest of us and like a good best friend would, you would know she’s nothing like that.
Mollie: “Like a good best friend?” So all those times I got myself in trouble for having your back when those same jocks and plastics beat your ass to the ground because your dad gave him bad grades for the trimester wasn’t me being a best friend?
Milo: Mollie that was two years ago! We’re seniors! Also, are you really going to bring up that same thing without acknowledging the fact that I even helped you get out of being expelled for that fight? Come on now, Mol!
Mollie is at lost for words, but also very stubborn. She crosses her arms and turns around, not facing Milo anymore.
Mollie: You still don’t know me, Milo.
Milo stares at Mollie, still in disbelief. How did this conversation even start? Oh yeah, Weston.
Milo: If that was true, I wouldn’t know the reasons in why you’re so afraid to show Weston your true self. You’re afraid of damaging him.
Mollie quickly turns her head to face Milo, now livid.
Mollie: Damaging? You seriously fucking think I’m such this horrible person, that I’m afraid of “damaging” another person? What the fuck do you even mean by that?
Milo: Oh come on, Mol, stop with the bullshit. You know what I mean. I know you’re scared of showing your real self to Weston because you’re afraid he’ll run away. You’re afraid for him to find out that every Tuesday you go see your therapist to talk out your issues, the same therapist that my dad and Jennifer would take you to every Tuesday after-school since we were kids. You’re afraid to tell him that Alex isn’t your real dad, that your actual dad left you and your mom because he was living a double life even when you were born. You’re afraid of letting him know that you’re not the most put together person in the world, that you fight your demons every single day, that you blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life even if you never had control over them. You’re afraid that if you let him in too much, he’ll come walking out all fucked up and damaged because you believe that’s how you leave people when they come into your life. You’re afraid of showing Weston who you really are because you love him.
Mollie, angrier than ever, turns around to spit fire at Milo.
Mollie: How fucking dare you. How dare you say those things so nonchalantly like it’s no big deal! You don’t even know half the shit I go through on a day-to-day basis! You only know what I want you to know! You think just because we’ve been friends since birth that you have the right to throw all that shit in my face? You have no right! No right!
Mollie stays facing away from Milo, taking everything in. Milo walks up to Mollie and sits next to her; the air is tenser than it was before and puts an end to the feud.
Milo: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out like that. I didn’t say those things to make you feel like shit. I said them because I know you. Maybe not about everything, but I know you well enough to know how much we are alike. We share a lot of the same demons, Mol. We know each other too well to let the other sit in them and let us consume us. You deserve more than what you’re putting out. You’re interesting, spunky, a tough-as-nails bitch. You’re selling yourself short, and Weston, for not being honest with him. You never know what things you guys have in common. You’ll never know what good you guys could put into each other’s lives.
Mollie doesn’t budge. Milo tries again.
Milo: It wasn’t easy admitting to Sophie the things I didn’t want her to see. I didn’t want her to see how Micah looks so much like my dad and Jennifer and then there was me, looking like the oddball in the family. I didn’t want to tell her that I never met my mom. I didn’t want to tell her the reason why I couldn’t go to her band recital was that that specific day was the day my mom passed away all those years ago and it still leaves me wondering about certain quirks and traits that I have. I didn’t want to tell her these things because I felt like it would be baggage for her. But once I started to fall for her more and more, I realized that she deserved to know these things about me. She deserved to know the person behind the smiles and the guitar and the dreads. She deserved to know me. Because of that, she’s helped me fight some of my battles just by knowing they exist.
Mollie looks over at Milo, who is looking at her back.
Mollie: I’m sorry for saying those things about Sophie.
Milo:(cleans hands) None taken, Castro. I know just how hardcore you get when you’re defensive. Again, something you should let Weston know. Love will get you angry on some days.
Mollie: (rolls eyes) Shut up, I’m not in love with Weston.
The one lamp in the living room begins to flicker and eventually turns on. Mollie’s mother yells from the other room that the power is back on. Milo gets up from his spot, grabs his phone charger, and hands it over to Mollie.
Milo: Talk to me when you get a reality check.
*This scene was inspired by “Best-friend bonfire”, a scene written about Jennifer (Mollie’s older sister) and her best friend, Milo (Milo’s father).
So, let’s just get straight to the post: this last week has left me with a lot of anxiety having to make big decisions that I wasn’t prepared to make.
In a nutshell, I’ve been seriously job hunting for the last two months. Since graduating, I’ve felt like I had a nice, well-needed break from the stress and work I had to get done this past semester. Now that I feel well rested, I’ve been prepping the next chapter of my life, which is actually finding a job!
While being in grad school, I didn’t have the clearest path on where I wanted to go after graduating. I mean, I didn’t really have breathing room during my studies to think about it; I was way too consumed in finishing my Master’s Thesis while juggling two literature courses my final semester as a grad student. But since I’ve graduated and allowed myself to relax and do some “soul-searching”, I’ve realized that I belong in a place like a college setting. I liked being a part of the academic community; I’ve realized I did way back when I was writing my thesis and felt this overwhelming passion of writing studies and curriculum and being a part of that process to bettering the experience for college students. I knew due to my anxiety and lack of teaching experience, I didn’t want to jump into adjuncting for my college right away. It wasn’t something that was completely out of the picture down the road, but for now, I couldn’t. But when I received the opportunity to teach in a short notice, I was conflicted: taking it meant I now had a paying job, but it also meant that I was jumping into something I knew I was experiencing extreme anxiety over. Not taking it – in my eyes – meant I was turning down an opportunity that I don’t know I’d ever get back. In the end, I had a really in-depth conversation with my professor about the situation, and coming out of it I felt a lot better.
Instead of teaching my own class, I’d be observing and assisting my professor with her graduate class, which teaches students how to teach writing in a public school classroom or a first-year college classroom.
I start tomorrow.
Although I took this exact course my first year in grad school as a student, I’d now be observing it through a perspective of a professor and how they would teach a class. In a sense, I’d be interning to get some experience not only to calm my own anxieties about teaching but to add something related to academics to my resume.
To me, I don’t mind it. I don’t mind actively doing something like this in order to gain some experience in a field I’m not familiar with. I do these type of thing for the experience, and to learn in all honesty. No, I can’t get paid to do something like this, but at the end of the day, it’s an experience that has more benefits coming out of it than just me getting money. Doing something as minor as this can open up new doors and help me build the network I need in my related field.
And while I still know all of this, the little “judgement Judy” who likes to cause all this self-doubt in me still stirs around in my mind. What if this is the wrong thing to do at this level? What if I’m back at square one once this is over? What if I’m making excuses and hindering my own success?
I say this with a couple of people in mind as I write this: I see people doing what they need to do to make money. People my age are actually working real jobs, whereas I am too afraid of the commitment and responsibility behind those said jobs. People my age are now full-functioning adults whereas I still feel like I’m living life as the face of “Peter-Pan Syndrome”…
Of course, this is my judgement mind speaking, and not my actual functioning common sense mind.
I made this decision because it was the right one to make regarding my circumstances. I can’t expect those around me (even little “judgement Judy” in my head) to understand why I am doing what I’m doing. People are going to have their thoughts and opinions on things which then may influence your thoughts and opinions, but I have to remember one important thing about life and journeys:
Not everything people have is for you and not everything you have is for them.
It’s the honest truth.
We are at the age where yeah, you’re going to be comparing whether or not a girl you knew in high-school is doing better than you, or if the group of people who bullied you in elementary school grew up and are doing their “adult” living thing. In this day and age, people are curious and wonder what the hell people are up to, and people will judge you behind your back, calculating your success to their potential success.
And what I have to say to that is that people move the way they move because they are going up a different path than you, and that’s okay.
It’s okay to be taking the year off to travel the world. It’s okay to want to settle down and have children. It’s okay to get engaged and get married. It’s okay to still be in the “post-grad job hunting process” after graduating. It’s okay to take a retail job while figuring out your career. It’s okay to put school on hold for personal reasons. It’s okay to have two degrees and intern. It’s okay to do whatever it is that you would like to do in order to go for the bigger picture. It’s okay has been something I’ve been telling myself these last couple of weeks, because even if I’m not where I’d like to be,
at least I am trying to get there in the way that is according to my plan that is right for me.
So, here’s the honest truth: I had another post up and ready to publish for today. After sitting on it and thinking it over, I realized that the post I was going to publish was a post mainly influenced on my feelings, and it was extremely one-sided. I even went to read a bitch for writing the article that influenced my discussion in that post until I realized that it wasn’t the greatest type of energy to be putting on my blog, especially in a community where I’d like to think people are allowed to have different opinions on the topics I write about in general. So, I scrapped it, which then influenced the topic of this post.
Dear People who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you are constantly setting the people around you up for failure.
In TNTH’s true cliffhanger fashion: Lemme explain.
A week after the snooze-fest that was the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, it made me think a lot about all the drama that’s happening in the music industry (i.e. Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott album sales) and the conversation of what it really means to be a successful music artist in the day and age of streaming services and digital downloadable albums. It made me think back to my teenage years, shoot, even my childhood on how music was. I grew up around music, whether it was my mother blasting music in the house, my sister listening to her music on her boombox, or me sitting in front of my radio religiously listening to Z100’s “Interactive 9 at 9”, a segment when they played the day’s top requested songs on the station. I look back and I wonder where did the beauty of music go?
To say it bluntly: music is just not the same anymore. Music isn’t as exciting as it once was, and it’s not as unique and different as it was too. Nowadays, you have 5 male singers who all sound like if Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes had a baby. You have producers manipulate the beats of a song to scientifically please us due to its high frequencies that are hidden in the background (i.e. “The Middle” which I still don’t know who sings it and half the people who like it probably don’t either) and most importantly, talent in the music industry are a dime in the dozen. You have a handful of artists who are actually unique, different, and crazy talented that still may not have the same “clout” as artists who are widely known just because.
Music back in the day required you to have talent; it’s why most singing competition contestants or winners from a decade ago are still known to be artists to this day. Nowadays, those same singing competitions end up with new contestants and winners being buried in the bullshit the music industry is, and only if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be winning the highest-earn award on the VMA’s, like Camila Cabello did last Monday.
Music isn’t about going out to record stores and Best Buys and other department stores and buying physical albums anymore. I mean, who the hell actually goes out of their way to buy an album if you could stream the entire thing on Apple Music or Spotify? The only people going out of their way to buy physical albums are those who are within the K-Pop community, I mean check this video out of TWICE hardcore fan, Sam, who buys and unboxes over 200 physical albums of TWICE’s recent Korean album, Summer Nights. But then again, many K-Pop fans who are buying physical albums are buying them for the photocards, photobooks, and whatever special thing it may come with that specific album. Rarely is there anyone opening up the albums to listen to the physical copy of their music. Why bother when you can listen to it in the reach of your phone?
The whole “Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj” feud that has been going on for the last two weeks tells us something about just how bad music has become a game of “how much can I sell in order to get my album sales up?” Every artist uses this tactic; in 2015, I bought Kelly Clarkson’s 7th studio album, Piece by Piece digitally in order to get early access to her tour tickets when they go on sale the week after. Ya girl was trying to see Kelly at Radio City Music Hall with Pentatonix because they were (and still are) some of my favorites… of course Kelly being the top dog on that list.
Also: the concert was amazing.
Back to the argument: artists use this tactic of selling digital downloads of their albums with their merchandise to boost of their sales, as well as promote the shit out of their music on Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming services in order to get those “sales” as well. I mean, let’s be completely honest right now: Camila Cabello’s “Havana” wouldn’t have gotten the hype that it received if Camila didn’t make it her mission to let her audience know to stream it on Spotify. Once the song became extremely popular on streaming services, its next step was airplay, and before you know it, everyone who was and wasn’t a fan of Camila Cabello knew that goddamn song.
Again, I’m not saying this to bash any artist; I still really do enjoy the music of some mainstream artists nowadays, but in my opinion, the overall enjoyment of music isn’t what it used to be.
Although I am only 24 years old, I’m still going to say this: back in my day, if you liked one song from a particular artist, you had to buy the entire album. People actually used to know every single song on an album by heart because they listened to an entire physical album on CD players. I still remember almost every single word on Rihanna’s third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad because I listened to every song. The excitement of going to a music store and buying a physical copy of your favorite artist’s album was so exciting, you were rushing to get back home and put it on in your stereo. I still remember the day my mom took my sister and me to the music store near us to buy Britney Spears’ second studio album, Oops!… I Did It Again. Once we had it in our hands, we went home and played the entire album on our stereo for the entire day. At the end of the day, what I’m trying to say is that music was once an experience. Music nowadays is just… too commerical.
A part of me always had this revelation that I didn’t belong in an industry like that. When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was become a famous singer, and as I got older and began to attempt to put my foot in the door (which that is another story for another day), I realize just how much it isn’t about the music anymore. It’s about how much you can sell. It’s about how good you look and how great your personality is. It’s about who you know, not what you know. I realized at a young age that striving in an industry that was on the heels of changing wasn’t right for me, and to this day, I still stand by my decision.
I don’t think music will ever be what it once was, but then again, I guess you can say that to any adult who has been around long enough to see the change in music…
A while back, I ran a poll on my Instagram page suggesting some new and fresh ideas to bring to the blog; one of them being tag-related posts. Now, I typically don’t like doing tag related posts on here because I feel like every question on these posts is the same, but I managed to find an interesting one on Pinterest!
Can you believe there have been 200 posts on the blog? That’s honestly a number way too insane to imagine. I can’t even think of 200 things to talk about, let alone write them! Honestly, thank you guys who come on here and read these posts. Despite having a blast writing on here every day for the last 25 days, I’m honored to see you guys countlessly come back on the blog’s scheduled days and see what’s new on the blog. Without TNTH, there would be no Self-Appreciation Saturdays, no Voiceless Rants, no travel diaries, and definitely no special series. This year alone, we had three different series go on in TNTH, which honestly was an amazing experience and will be coming back very soon!
Since it’s Friday, I figured it would be nice to post something on the less serious side, so I decided to let you guys in on what I’ve been brewing inside my mind regarding some potential stories.
If you’ll like to read the first installment of this, here’s part one of Stories I’ve Been Working On! Edit: Looking back at this post, I realize I wrote the first post on this exact day a year ago; how weird!
Without further ado, here are some stories I’ve been working on:
1.) “Post-Partum Reflection”
In a nutshell, I really play around with this one family a lot because to some extent, it reflects on the life I live and it’s just the group of people that very much have in-depth characteristics. This story follows the two characters that were in my first part of this series; in summary, these two people have reunited again after heartbreak and loss and decide to give their friendship once last chance of redemption. As the year passed, they’ve gotten to know each other in a different light even if they’ve been best friends ever since they were four years old all the way back in 1996. Life happens, people grow up, and they both very much had to get to know each other again after a year and a half of not speaking. One night in October, they had admitted to each other that it’s always been them, despite the many people whose walked in and out of their lives. So, just like that, they tried this whole dating thing. Although on the surface this relationship seemed perfect in everyone else’s eyes, the female character still had to deal with some of her inner demons. She felt guilty that she jumped back into a relationship only 5 months after her fiance passed away due to a chronic illness, and she had felt that those around her were judging her for her decision. Every now and then she would be alright, and then there were some nights when she wasn’t.
And then the unthinkable happened. She had found out she was pregnant. Not being completely ready for yet a new chapter in her life, her partner (the male character) reassured her that everything was going to be alright. Personally, I love this male character, like he has his own battles he deals with and he grew up being a single teen parent, but he always knew he was supposed to be with this girl and now that they got together and got to this point in their lives, he was willing to do whatever it was to protect her, even if it meant protecting her from herself sometimes. So, the months pass by, it’s now the end of July, and she is now roughly 30 weeks. She goes into labor. She has the baby, and of course, he is born prematurely. Dealing with the trauma of her labor and potentially losing her baby, she’s now at a state of mind where she feels like she has to be on full survival mode with her child all the time, which her partner starts to realize she’s beginning to tune him out, as well as being crazy protective over their son. One thing spirals after the other, accusations are made, things are truly going too fast, and, well, something major happens that honestly, I didn’t see coming from this character.
You might be thinking, “well goddamn Liz, these people can’t be happy in your world!” That’s not true. I’ve played around with these characters for the last decade, and life is nothing short of a breeze for these two. The beauty of it all, though, is that these two always make it out alright, just like everyone else in the real world. Of course, there are consequences, there is reasoning due to characteristics these characters have, and I think that’s why I love these two together. They literally would go to the moon and back for one another.
When stories in the present day really interest me, I always like to jump ahead into the future and start planning out storylines for characters who might be too young in my mind, or that solely don’t exist yet in the universe. In this case, I’ve been looking forward into the future of Micah, the son of the first two people in the previous story. I guess you can say he turns out fine because, in this universe, he’s already 17 years old. Micah follows the footsteps of his father and his older brother; they’re all musically inclined. Micah takes it to a whole new level; while his older brother was more of a “percussion and acapella” type of guy, he’s definitely more into the “I play lead guitar in a grungy-rock garage band” type of guy whenever he’s not playing the piano to suit his father’s needs.
In this universe, he meets a girl named Kalia. At first, they couldn’t stand each other due to their unofficial competition of who is the better musician in their class, but Micah begins to fall for this girl’s spunk, sassy, yet passionate and humble personality. She’s not afraid to be seen with the other “band geeks” that play in the band as the very much competitive vocal program in their school takes most of their spotlight. (No tea, no shade!) She’s really the only girl who’s decided she didn’t want to sing in the “all-girl angelic plastic choir”. But he’s starting to notice something strange in Kalia’s behavior. She won’t invite him over to hang out at her place, she sometimes take unexpected days off (even on important exam dates where teachers don’t discipline her) and she’s never wanting to be seen in public. What’s her deal, and will Micah ever find out?
Although I already have the idea set in mind, it’s also this very convoluted and I definitely will have to revisit this idea in another post to break down the entire story!
Let me know if you’ll like to possibly see some scenes within these two stories written out on TNTH in the near future! Possibly next week? 😉 You gotta come back and see!
If you knew me waaaaay back in 2016, you would remember that I used to carry around this hardcover pink journal everywhere I went. I carried it to school, my partner’s place, my grandparent’s house in Pennsylvania, my aunt’s house in Jersey; pretty much everywhere that I went. I didn’t get to keep one in 2017, but I started it back up this year. Of course, nothing beats the original, and this daily journal is honestly one of the reasons why 2016 was such a great year for me. If you’ll like to read about some of my reasoning on why journaling is a great thing to do, you can read my post about the Pros of Journaling here!
With that being said, I figured we do something fun for this week’s #TBT! How about we go through three of my journal entries right here, right now?
In the first day installment of the Blogust Series, I touched a bit on the fact that I am a firm believer of spiritual energy. Of course, when I bring that up in conversation, many people believe that I’m referring to a higher power of some sorts in some religion. While I do have my own personal beliefs about religion, I was never a religious person. I wasn’t raised with a religious background, so I never knew much about God and The Bible; pretty much anything related to religion.
When I say spiritual energy, I mean just that: energy. I believe those cliches that people seem to overuse in life: everything happens for a reason. I’m not saying that you have to analyze everything that happens in your life to figure out that reason; for the most part, I do take things that happen at certain times in my life and wonder why something would happen during such a time.