Archive for 2014|Yearly archive page

The Best Creative Advice

In Thoughts on August 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm

…that I’ve stumbled upon yet. Am I really qualified to tell you which advice is good and which is crap when pursuing your creativity? Hell no. I haven’t done anything creatively great in my life. So, what I’m here to say is that this guy has a great idea that we should listen to simply because it is laid out in a way that hasn’t been done before. He expands upon how to “cultivate” your passion and, what I found to be most important, how to recognize opportunity that may lead to a new, more fulfilling passion. Read:

How many “passions” have you had in your life? When you were 8, what was it? Working on your boy/girlscout badges? What about 15, a specific sport? What about when you were 18… did it change? Mine did. All of my areas of interest have generally stayed in similar categories but my “passion” has changed. My focus when I was 18 was to become a makeup artist. I’ve always been great at it, and I loved learning about products and colors and techniques. Fast forward three years and I can’t learn enough about great works of literature and the emotions and histories that inspired them. I still enjoy doing makeup, but it’s no longer my passion. Why? Because I pursued it with room for growth. I built an expensive makeup kit, accompanied my friend who, at the time, was an aspiring (now successful) model to each of her photoshoots and did hours worth of work for free. I teamed up with photographers and began doing other models’ faces – actually for decent money. I researched cosmetology schools to go to, what type of makeup field to pursue (film and fashion are two VERY different things), and all the while I was focusing on how to better my craft.

See, I worked wholeheartedly on pursuing my passion, but something changed. I took a British Literature class and it sparked a new passion for me. I realized that I enjoyed reading poetry more than I enjoyed being a makeup artist. This didn’t happen overnight. As I read for the class, I realized how much poetry could influence my life; how it could help me make sense of things and find new ways to view life. I continued doing makeup for a while, but semesters after that class I was still going back to my textbook and finding new poems. I finally changed my major to English Literature, and as time went on, my interest in makeup artistry burnt out. I still enjoy doing it but I feel that now I’ve found something that makes life worth living. Maybe that sounds extreme, but it’s how I view great writing. Had I not taken the opportunity to learn more about this new interest, I wouldn’t have found my new passion. Likewise, had Steve Jobs not seen the opportunity to make money by selling Apple computers to everyday people, he would not have recognized his passion for being a technological innovator. Computers would have remained only an interest in his life, second to his passion of eastern mysticism. Jobs combined his former passion with his new interest, which shaped his inventive ideas and allowed his new interest to cultivate into a lifelong passion.
The point here is: You can have multiple passions throughout your life. Life isn’t black and white, it’s neutral warm, mauve, and brownish black. So do not allow your current passion to cloud your view of opportunity in new interests. Passion makes life worth living; do not hinder your opportunities to cultivate new passions.



The Best Atlanta List Ever

In Lifestyle on August 11, 2014 at 12:33 am

The 99 Problems of Atlanta

All of these are so on point. Sometimes it’s terrible being an ATLien. (Should we make that name problem #100?)


I’m Not Here to be Your Role Model

In Thoughts on August 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I’ve always thought that it must be awful to be famous. I truly do mean that. The paparazzi constantly shoving cameras in your face and crowding in on you so you can barely walk three feet, the obligation to give, and choose “the most worthy” cause you can find, but worst of all? The expectations of how you should act and the inevitable criticism regardless of what you do or say. It’s terrible that people feel they can write incredibly mean things about someone just because they are famous, or worse yet, post it as comments on their Instagram or other sites. Would you say that to their face? I doubt it. Would you comment those things on pictures of people you knew? No. You wouldn’t, I guarantee. So what makes you think you can say hurtful things to someone simply because of their job description, or the money in their bank account, or the number of followers they have?

Famous people who, *gasp* are people, too, are not here to be your (or your kids’) role models. Imagine if all of the sudden one day you woke up and everything you did or said had to be appropriate for all ages and had to essentially teach society what to think of themselves or others. You would fail miserably, wouldn’t you? People are people. We all have different views on EVERYTHING. We think differently, and we think different things. To judge whether someone’s thoughts are “acceptable” is NOT up to you, or a group of you, or society in general.

Humans are not on this planet to be “role models.” We are not here to show you how to act, what to say, or what to think. We are all different and can learn from each other. This does not mean in any way that anyone should be held up high on a pedestal of exactly how to act, nor does it mean condemning one down to be shown as a mockery, or an example of what not to do. Lay off the judging of famous people. I bet they would never hold YOU to such high standards of any one person’s individual version of morality.


Only the Good Die Young

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2014 at 3:27 am

Something happened today which confused me more than ever.

An acquaintance passed away, someone I had known for years but had probably only spoken to in person once when we first met. He was known by so many people from schools all around the state and even some other larger universities out of state. He was an athlete and an avid partier. He was attractive as hell, which is what I most remember him for. What caught me off guard, aside from the fact that a life was taken tragically in a car accident so young, was not just the amount of people that knew him, but the amount of people that adored him.


I had always thought all of the hype around this man was what I had seen on the outside: an attractive and fun guy. But I think it was his alluring personality that made so many people wonderstruck by him. My Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures and paragraphs dedicated to explaining what a great place he made this world. People I would have never guessed knew him were apparently close enough to have fond memories with him and post their own thoughtful sentiments. Intriguing as it is, how often is it that someone comes around and not only meets and enjoys the company of so many people, but has that many and then some (ahem, me) remembering his enjoyable presence? What a rare breed. It gets you thinking on how you can make so much out of your life that you can touch that many people, too. 


I think his legacy is to spread love wherever you can. I hope that doesn’t sound lighthearted; I truly believe he has done so much good by simply encouraging happiness in others as he seemed to always have it in him himself. It makes me upset that I may never be able to share such happiness as I’m rarely, if ever, satisfied with my own mental state. Hopefully one day I will get the chance to touch as many hearts as he did. 


I may not have known you closely, but may you rest in peace and your family be comforted in knowing that you have served this world and it’s people well. ❤





Parisian Daydreams

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I am so over Atlanta. I hate the heat and feel like I’m going to have a heat stroke everyday when I walk 20 minutes to class. It’s so awful seeing the businesspeople walk to lunch everyday in their too-tight Ann Taylor dresses with sketchers on and mindless looks on their faces. I want to be back in France where the people are stylish, the weather is perfect (I really do enjoy the rain), and the culture is so wonderful. I think the best way to describe Paris is comfortable. I could have sat for hours reading at one of the cafes on the outside patio without feeling rushed. The couple in the apartment across the street from us would have friends over to drink every night and stay up until two AM playing cards and listening to music with the windows open and a glass of wine in hand. (Okay maybe it was beer but if it were me, there would have been a kickass glass of red in my hand.)


I think most twenty-somethings begin to long for more of the world at some point. Hometowns and even home countries begin to seem so dull in comparison. You get one taste of a different culture and suddenly you question everything about your own. I get it, the grass is always greener blah blah blah but I really do think I would be happier if I could live in Paris for a year or so. It’s hard to fathom staying in Atlanta for two more years going to the same old university. I really don’t know how I’m going to make it. I don’t want to be here. I want to be out in the world living; not at home with my soul dying. That’s how it feels anyway.


Who else is going stir-crazy like I am?!

All Over the Place

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

I feel like I am all over the place. I have just gotten back from a 2.5 week study abroad trip in which we spent four nights each in Paris, Lourdes, then off to a tiny Scottish island called Iona, then to Edinburgh. I’m jet-lagged and my thoughts are all over the place. I also feel like I need a clear focus for this blog but can’t seem to narrow down to just one category or idea. Thoughts?


Oh, Happy One Year of Blogging to me!!

Quick Thought from Study Abroad

In Thoughts on May 19, 2014 at 6:08 am

“Religious people crave meaning; all people are religious. Everyone needs symbolic order to their life.”
-Turner, Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture

People crave meaning. Do they know the meaning? No. Do they continue to search for it? Absolutely.
To me, life’s meaning is to give God something to be proud to watch; to live striving for the best in everything, not in a hyper-competitive way, but in a challenging way. It shouldn’t be easy. It will always be easier to cheat on a test or to duck under the turnstile bars at the Metro. I believe God is proud of those that work hard to earn an honest living, those that go out of their way to help someone, and those that strive for the betterment of themselves and therefore the world.

Vegans: Help!!

In Lifestyle on May 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I am leaving Monday for my Maymester Study Abroad program (holy shit!!) in which I will be going to Paris, Lourdes, Iona (a small island off the Western coast of Scotland), and Edinburgh. We will be in each city for approximately 4 days. One thing I have been worried about is food. If my stomach is upset or I feel too full, my anxiety is triggered. My anxiety and my stomach go hand-in-hand and obviously I’d really like to minimize any anxious situations that I could avoid while away.


So, as I’ve been eating vegan for these past four months, I’d like to stick to that as best as I can for the trip. I’m not worried about Scotland because there won’t be a language barrier so I will be able to read the menu easily and communicate what I can’t eat to the server. I am worried for my 8 days in France though! What should I look out for on the menus? What should I say to indicate that I am vegan and to get across what I can’t eat? I’m perfectly fine with eating salad with no cheese and dressing on the side most of the time but I don’t even know how to ask for that! Bread doesn’t bother me at all (it probably soothes my stomach more than anything) so I will definitely be eating that in France. Let me also add that I don’t know a lick of French. Sooooo, there’s that issue.


My plan is to pack a ton of Larabars in my checked bag and to make sure I always have a few in my purse just in case. I’m also bring some microwavable rice & quinoa packets that are sooo filling so I can always eat those in the room. I also don’t want to be a hindrance to anyone on the trip. I don’t want to choose where to eat for everyone else just because of my dietary restrictions but oh man, I really need to avoid dairy like the plague, It KILLS my stomach now.



What do you all recommend? Any vegan travellers out there, please help! Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.





In Thoughts on May 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Life’s purpose is different for each of us. It also evolves with each of us over time, as situations change, as opportunities arise, as our eyes are opened wider. When someone asks you the sole question “What major goal gives your life meaning right now?” What do you say? We each have different goals for our lives, some more pressing than others with time limits that may be self-imposed. I know I do. I believe our best creativity comes from our early twenties, while our minds are still changing, and our brains are having their final growth spurt. This belief is driving me to work on my first life goal, something I want to contribute to the world to give my life some meaning, to justify why I’m here. I want my writing to touch people the way great authors have touched me. It isn’t just some frivolous art but rather life or death. Had I not read some of the poems I did in the year after my father’s passing, I’m not sure if I’d still be here right now. That sounds so harsh, I know, but those connections are what made me feel alive when nothing in the outside world could. It sure makes you feel much less lonely when you can connect with a poet from the eighteenth century, knowing there was someone out there that felt exactly what you feel at one time. The authors conveyed these messages to me that helped me with what I was going through more than a therapist ever could. The poems said exactly what I wanted to say when I couldn’t form the words myself. They helped me grieve. They taught me that it is okay to live, and to live with such purpose that others will benefit from your life too.

This is why I want to write. I want to produce something that will connect with the lonely ones, the ones going through such rough times that a book is all they could count on. So, writing may seem like a meaningless career to some, but to me it is therapy. It is helping others through depression and issues that are so deep no human could ever help- only words. Words and their meanings, their mysteries, their truths- that is what will help others. I hope that my writing could stop others from harmful actions. I hope that my writing can help others make peace in their lives. I hope that my writing can make such a difference that people can say that their lives were saved by my words.

That is my goal and that’s all the purpose I need in life.




Greektown, Chicago

In Lifestyle on April 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm


I have so much to say about these past 24 hours that I don’t even know where to begin. I arrived in Chicago with my mother and sister yesterday morning- I think the plane landed around 8 AM. Our first stop was Lou Mitchell’s for breakfast per the suggestion of my second cousin and let me just say this now: Best. Coffee. Ever. I am a coffeeaholic and have had a cup everyday for 7 years now. I try local coffee shops everywhere I go because I feel that it gives you a good grasp on the culture. Lou Mitchell’s coffee was perfectly bold without ANY bitterness. It felt so incredibly inviting and had the most amazing flavor that cannot be compared to any other roast. 

When you first walk in to Lou Mitchell’s, a heart-shaped basket filled with fresh doughnut holes is (kindly) shoved in your face. It is a traditional Greek gesture to offer something sweet upon arrival, and sweet it was. I definitely cheated on veganism to have a taste. The hospitality did not stop there as the staff was so sweet to us throughout our entire experience.



View from atop the National Hellenic Museum

After a wonderfully huge breakfast we ventured into Greektown. We spent ages at the National Hellenic Museum (half of the time shopping for gifts for family members). Most of the information exhibited includes details on the lives of Greek immigrants and the wins and losses of combining Greek culture with new American life. It was intriguing to my family as we don’t know very much about our transition into America (I believe my great-grandparents immigrated in the early 1900s). At the top of the museum is a rooftop patio with a great view.



Back at the Museum’s shop, I couldn’t stop myself from buying “The Romantic Poetry of Greece: An Anthology” that has each poem in both Greek and English. I can read Greek phonetically but so far I only know the meanings of less than 100 words. One day I do plan to learn the language, though. Something I found odd about the book was that the collection of poems is from 1880-1960, practically a century behind the British literary movement. As we speak of Romantic poets let me add that I found the best quote by Percy Bysshe Shelley at the museum- see picture below. Actually I am very biased. The quote is great to me because if there’s anything you need to know about Greeks it’s that we are full of pride and Shelley only helps reinforce our feelings. 


A lunch in a tiny kaffenion in Greektown, lots of walking, and my first taste of deep dish pizza at Uno’s completed the day. So far this morning I have walked down to Starbucks for a soy latte and enjoyed the sound of rain in the hotel with a great city view. If this isn’t bliss I don’t know what is. Stay tuned for more posts on Chicago and this fabulous hotel we are staying in!



The view from our hotel room and let’s be honest here, can it really get any better than a view of Bloomies?