Change is always difficult, but sometimes it's necessary. Here's Enfiniti's story of how she embraced change for the better.

This series is a part of the Hindsight series. If you don't know what that is, here's a brief summary:

The Hindsight series consists of guest posts from various bloggers sharing their stories on Bloomly about any personal experience that they might have encountered that reflects personal growth, self-improvement, and/or struggles with mental health. The Hindsight series is about looking back on experiences that shaped who we are and have helped us grow, which we only see now with hindsight.

Learn more: About the Hindsight Series 
More Hindsight posts: Read the Series

Goodbyes are hard. I’ve always hated them because usually they bring unwanted change. Losing friends was something I hated as well, because then I felt alone. But this is one goodbye and friendship that was truly for the best and made me feel more whole.

In middle school I spent most my days with killer migraines, lightheaded and weak. Freshman and sophomore year, I spent most days pinching and torturing myself. I cried all the time, I was far from happy. I pushed my body to extremes and got no results.

I became a victim of atypical anorexia. I worked out excessively, stopped eating meat, counted my calories, barely ate at all, didn’t eat before or after certain times. I followed every rule of anorexia that I read online as if my life depended on it, yet I still felt “fat”.

My hair was falling out and my health declining and no progress, you can imagine my frustration. I was angry and sick, overall miserable on the inside. I was so hard on myself for four years of my life.

I hated my body with a burning passion. I used to mark areas of my body, scratch the parts I hated (my thighs and arms), pinched my stomach or bit my lip when I was hungry. I hated my thighs and arms because they were large. My arms were too big in my eyes and I had and still do, huge muscular thighs, I wanted a thigh gap. I told myself that if I was smaller I would be happier. I never reached my goal. I spent most days crying and every day with an inferior complex. I felt dirty and disgusting.

I went all of middle school with Ana being my friend and idol. She was who I went to when I felt lonely, when I was angry, and she gave me a sense of control. I realized “Ana” wasn’t my friend or my source of happiness a few years into high school. She was the exact opposite. She was satan in disguise. She was there to tear me down and break me. It was the hardest pill I had to swallow because I thought Ana would be the solution to all my problems.

If I said goodbye to her I was saying goodbye to control, not having the lonely feeling, and facing reality. 

It was hard trying to change my lifestyle back to normal or healthy. The first time eating a greasy cheeseburger was the worst guilt and disgust I ever felt. Forcing myself to eat, stopping my bad habits, it was really hard but it had to be done.  I stopped my bad habits by tracking them, letting certain friends know about how I felt, and journaling.

Summer before my junior year I started to accept myself after realizing this situation was the symptom of something bigger. I realized I had to accept myself and say goodbye to Ana in order to find some peace and joy in my life.

That summer was hard due to the fact I had moved and was switching schools. I was away from all my friends and my normal. During that time I had a lot of time to myself and in that time I learned the importance of self-care and what it means to love yourself. I got a healthy routine started for myself, especially when I realized how much the situation impacted my life. I would wake up early in the morning, eat a light breakfast and read. Afterwards I would workout for 30 mins, yoga somedays, then I’d read or watch a movie or find something that kept me busy.

Flash forward to 2018, I had grown a lot from previous years. I still strongly disliked areas of my body but I was also accepting and loving other parts, I also had more peace with myself. Progress. Things that help me is daily journaling, affirmations, strong female influencers and other people’s voices/stories. Also having a support system helped.

If I’m being honest, in this moment I’m still not 100% comfortable with every part of my body, I’m still fighting some demons. 

Every now and then, I’ll find myself looking to see if my collarbone is still visible or pinching myself and I have to stop and remind myself of who I am and how far I’ve come.

The journey to loving yourself and body isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s not even your body or you, it can be a problem much deeper than your body and you’ll have to tackle that as well.

I learned it’s much more of a mental battle than I thought. 

You literally have to change the way you think and see yourself as well as everything surrounding you.  It’s one of those things that you constantly have to work on and know your worth kind of thing. Learning to be enough for yourself is something really important with Ana. I spent most times trying to live up to societal standards and I lost myself. In the process of loving myself I had to rediscover who I was and had to learn how to be enough for myself first. I think that’s one of the biggest lessons I learned.

I highly recommend spending time alone, giving yourself time and space to love yourself. Cut out social media and whatever else sets you back so you can focus fully on yourself. Being active helped me too surprisingly, such as joining a team or participating in yoga helps.

I pray that whatever you’re going through, you find peace and learn to love yourself and truly accept yourself. Also know you’re not alone and it’s okay. Take baby steps. 

About the Author: Enfiniti
Enfiniti is a high school and soon to be college lifestyle + faith blogger. She loves encouraging others to be their best selves and a strong believer in laughing. In her free time she loves journaling/writing, reading and participating in Young Life. She also enjoys killing time on Pinterest, scrolling through Twitter for the best memes, and trying to perfect her feed on Instagram.

With the comparison trap and the constant focus on "staying ahead", sometimes it can feel a little draining to be doing it all. There have been so many times when I've felt like I have been left behind - maybe I haven't fulfilled the milestones that everyone else seemed to have already completed forever ago, maybe haven't been doing as well as the person next to me. These feelings are natural.

Kate writes about how she struggled with this same feeling, how she got over it, and what she learned from the whole experience.

This series is a part of the Hindsight series. If you don't know what that is, here's a brief summary:

The Hindsight series consists of guest posts from various bloggers sharing their stories on Bloomly about any personal experience that they might have encountered that reflects personal growth, self-improvement, and/or struggles with mental health. The Hindsight series is about looking back on experiences that shaped who we are and have helped us grow, which we only see now with hindsight.

Learn more: About the Hindsight Series 
More Hindsight posts: Read the Series

If there was one thing I know about running (and I know squat, because I’m definitely not a sportsy gal), it’s that a sprint and a marathon are two opposite sides of a spectrum. The difference between a sprint and a marathon is easy to see, even for a non-runner like me. Sprints are short, marathons are long.

Take my first two years in university for example. I always thought of them as sprints. Like any sprinter, I placed all my energy into improving my speed. Maximizing every movement in my muscle to be faster. Quicker reaction time, quicker strides -- all to create a great start.

I’m sure I’m not the only freshman who had these thoughts upon entering college:
Aim high, finish fast. Always be the first of everything. That’s how you’ll succeed.

I sure as heck thought this way.

My college department was a highly competitive environment. You’d think accounting students are boring but let me tell y’all: accounting students are far from it. Accounting students, like all other students, hustle. They clamor for the best review sources, the best study places and the best seniors to mentor them.

I was caught in the middle of it all. Hustling on extracurriculars but also trying to be on top of my studies. Keeping a watchful, borderline-shifty eye (that I’m sooo not proud of, by the way) on other students, being inspired by them but also being secretly competitive.

I felt like I was running one sprint after another. 

Putting out high amounts of energy constantly to place first and finish fast. But then I had to put in more work because I felt like I was behind. Then I had to put in more work. And then more. It’s a vicious cycle.

As it often happens, I burnt out. Hard.

The summer after my second year, due to financial problems my family was facing, I decided to stop schooling. I went back to my childhood home, my grandparents’ house, and stayed there for five months. These five months would have been my first semester of my third year in uni.

For the first several weeks, I stayed away from Facebook. I didn’t want to read my college friends’ posts or hear them talk about how stressful college life was. When I finally did, it was a couple months in and I thought it was okay.

Nope. Not okay at all.

I guess I didn’t really expect things to hit painfully as much as it did. But boy was it painful.

I felt like an exhausted runner in the last place. Trying so hard to catch up to the people in front of me. But no matter how hard I pushed myself, they’re just moving faster and faster, farther and farther away. It’s an awful thing, to feel so helpless and incompetent. To see others forging ahead and making progress while you are there, keeping at a snail’s pace. It didn’t do well to my mental wellbeing nor to my already low self-esteem.

The next several days, I was in and out of this dark mental state. I kept thinking, I’m left behind. They’re all sprinting ahead while I’m here stuck. I am behind. Behind. Behind. Behind.

That word was a chant my mind kept saying.

And then… it just stopped.

I didn’t know what happened. I won’t say it happened one ordinary day. Like it was a sudden thing, a Eureka moment, because it definitely wasn’t. It was slow and gradual -- recovery often is, I now know. But I climbed out of that deep dark hole. I guess I knew I needed to.

(I still suspect it was being in the constant company of chickens. But I digress.)

For the next few months, I spent my time writing, and learning new creative hobbies like photography and watercolor. Making new online friends and learning from them. Most afternoons, I sat in my grandparents’ backyard, surrounded by chickens. Thinking. Reflecting. Accepting my flaws and learning to love who I was at that moment. Thinking of my life. How it was and how I want it to be. What direction I want to take with it.

Even now, whenever I look back in my life, I thought of those five months away from college as a turning point. But for a long time, I didn’t know why or how so. But it was always on my mind, brewing. Like my recovery, it was slow and gradual.

Then it hit me.

Those five months? That’s when I stopped racing with others.

It was a rollercoaster ride, for sure. But it was then that I stopped comparing my progress with others’. Instead, I focused on my own progress and self-growth. I tried to build myself up without trying to break anyone down--including myself.

And here’s the golden cherry to top it all off, dear readers:
We are all running on different paths in different paces.

It turns out? Life isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And you are the only runner in your own race. There may be times when it seems like other people are running in the same direction, but at one point or another, they’d go a different way. They aren’t ahead of you. Nor are you behind. You aren’t left behind at all.

You may have a few stops, here and there. Probably take a detour somewhere. But the important thing is, you’re moving. Keep at it on your own unique pace. And keep at it consistently. In the long run, that’s what matters far more.
About the Author: Kate
Kate is the smol happy child behind All The Trinkets, a personal growth and creativity blog. She deeply believes every single person in this beautiful world has a seed of creativity and happy growth inside them. When not blogging, you can find her painting pretty people or talking to her beloved cactus, Watson.
Best of the Internet | The Bloomly

2018 is officially over. Before we "thank u, next" entirely to 2018 and forget that it ever happened, I want to take a moment to appreciate all of the incredible content that has been created in the year. Content creators work so hard and deserve to be recognized for everything that they put out there. So that's what we're doing today.

What does "Best of the Internet" mean?

If you're a long time follower of the Bloomly, you might know about a former installment called "Best of the Internet." On those posts, I would collect all of my favorite content that I found online from bloggers, YouTubers, any online creator and feature it. This way, you can find some of the best content out there without any work and we can support #TeamInternet.

I've looked for some content that I've loved and appreciated throughout this year, so here it is.

Relationships and Social Life

'I'm Great'-Offs Are Exhausting: 6 Ways to Dive Into Deeper Conversations | Shine

Dating as An Asian Woman: The Things No One Talks About | The Every Girl

Why Being Ghosted by my Best Friend Was a Good Thing | The Trendy Chick

Personal Growth

How I Taught Myself to Be Okay With Failure | The Bloomly

How to Be Confident on Video on Social Media | Asha Thomas

What Everyone Gets Wrong About the Future (Myself Included) | Shine

#RealTalk You Are In Control Of Your Own Life | A Wanderer's Adventure

6 Little Things You Can Take Ownership of When Everything in Life Feels Out of Your Control | Generation Tay

Thoughts on Feeling Lost and Not Knowing What to Do With Your Life | Ivy Rose Knows

Self Care

30 Ways to Make Yourself Feel Better After a Shitty Day | The Every Girl

I Tried Meditation for a Week | The Bloomly

Self-Care 101: A Checklist To Help You Take Care Of Yourself Right This Instant | Girlboss

Self-Care 101: The A-to-Z Guide To Being Kinder To Yourself | Girlboss

Think Pieces

Why I Asked My White Coworkers to Call Me By My Middle Name | Girlboss

More than "Just Hair"? A Look at the Relationship Between Hair & Femininity | the little plum


How I Save Money on Almost All the Clothes I Buy | Seeking the South

I Tried 5 Morning Routines: Here's What Happened | The Every Girl

Why You Need to Indulge in Your Hobbies More Often | The Bloomly

Just for Fun

Interactive Open When Letters | The Bloomly

Bon Appetit Gourmet Makes [video playlist] | Bon Appetit

Behind Tasty [video playlist] | Buzzfeed Tasty

This is just a bit of the content that I've enjoyed throughout the year. It's so hard for me to keep track of all the impactful posts I've read, so I'm definitely missing some. But now it's your turn. Comment below with some of the online content you've really enjoyed or give the creator some love directly by mentioning them in this twitter thread of appreciation for content creators.

What do you think is some of the best online content of 2018? Comment them to give them some love!

It's that time of the year again - a new year. Every year we all say this, but it's wild that 2018 is coming to a close. While the year, like any year has been full of ups and downs, for the most part I'd say that the year has been pretty good to me. I've accomplished a lot within the year and I feel like I've grown and learned a lot - and that's what we're aiming for right?

I mentioned last year about the importance of reflecting on what you did in the year  and that absolutely still applies. When I look back at everything that I did, the things in January of 2018 feel like forever ago. As I was looking over everything that I did, it felt like those things couldn't have happened this year, like they must have been from an earlier year.

The truth is, you've done a lot in just a short time. Take the time to be proud of everything that you have done and focus on how you can grow even more in the next year. Here are a few of the things that I did in 2018.

I've gotten more involved in school.

By "getting involved" I mean beyond just the academics. In the past, I was involved in the academics, but I didn't really pour myself into many extracurriculars. This year, I've been getting more involved by going to more study sessions, office hours, and being more active in student organizations. I think that doing so has really helped me feel more like I have a sense of purpose in my everyday life. It has helped me branch out and meet more people, something that I tend to struggle with, and truly take advantage of what is available to me.

This relates to the new school year resolutions that I set for myself over the summer, so I'm glad to say that I'm actually kind of sticking to resolutions (for now at least).

I travelled!

This year, I had the chance to travel to the beautiful Spain and Portugal over summer. Over the course of the trip, I visited the following cities in Spain: Granada, Seville, Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo. In addition, I was able to visit the following cities in Portugal: Lagos, Lisbon, and Sintra. I talked about my top favorite attractions that I visited in during my time in Spain, check out the post here, so if you're interested, you can see which ones are worth a visit.

Related: 24 Hours in Lisbon

That trip was incredible because I got to see so many beautiful places. There were the architectural beauties of Barcelona, the history behind the Alhambra de Granada, the natural beauty of Lagos, and more.

In addition to that big trip, I've been able to spend some time in New York City and San Francisco throughout this year. I have already been to both New York and San Francisco, so revisiting them allowed me to take my time in a more leisurely manner.

I'm teaching myself more and more design skills.

You might have noticed this on my Instagram that I've been posting more illustrations. In the past, I had an interest in design, but I didn't really know how to do much design digitally. Lately, I've been teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator and Indesign. I've learned how to make some cool stuff and I feel like I've made a ton of progress in such a short time. Check out my Instagram to see some of the illustrations so far but I'm looking forward to making more and getting some cool graphics onto the blog.

I started exercising more regularly.

Okay, so regularly may be a bit of a stretch, but lately I've been trying to exercise at least once a week. I know that it's not much, but baby steps right? I used to never exercise, so really anything is good progress. I've tried a few different exercising classes as well as exercising on my own and I've been alternating to keep it interesting.

What did you do in 2018?

Okay.. maybe this post was just an excuse for me to binge watch lots of Christmas movies, but like I'm not mad about it.

It's officially December which means that it's Christmas season! Unfortunately, it's also finals season which makes it difficult to get into the holiday mood. Thankfully, holiday movies are an easy and low effort way to bring some holiday cheer to your life.

Related: How to Enjoy the Holidays During Finals Season

I always find that getting into the Christmas mood is a little difficult because I never really get into it until like right before Christmas, so watching these movies were like a reminder to me that yes, it is actually December (but like seriously how did that happen? I can't believe the year is over).

So if you're looking for a good holiday movie to watch, I've got you covered with some reviews of cheesy holiday movies (specifically ones on Netflix).

So how will we be reviewing these?

To review all these holiday movies, I've devised a rating scale.


Holiday movies are meant to be feel good movies. This means that at the end, you feel a little bit happier. Therefore the heart-warmingness scale will go from 0 to 10, with 0 being that I felt sad and 10 being that I felt extremely happy.

Cheesiness Levels

The cornerstone of holiday movies is a cheesiness factor. It's in all the holiday movies, but that's part of what makes it a holiday movie. For the cheesiness levels, 0 marks not cheesy at all and 10 marks extremely cheesy.

The reviews

A Christmas Prince

what it's about
Amber is an aspiring journalist who is sent to a small foreign nation called Aldovia which happens to have a monarchy. She is to cover the press conference of the playboy crown prince, Richard, who is soon to take the throne. Amber then decides to snoop around and somehow falls into the role as Princess Emily's tutor.

what I thought
Honestly this was a VERY cheesy movie. I definitely don't think that this was my favorite of the holiday movies, I didn't really buy into the romance very much and the chemistry just felt kind of forced. The relationship between the two felt a little stiff and formal for me.

However, I do have to say that there were some twists and turns with the "bad guys" and I was in fact shocked with the reveals. While yes, the reveals were quite cliche, I was still engaged enough by these plot points. For the heart-warmingness level, I didn't necessarily feel any happier or like my heart was warmed at the end, I just kind of felt the same as when I started the movie.

heart-warmingness: 2/10
cheesiness: 10/10

notable classic holiday movie moments: crowning ceremony on Christmas Eve, key family heirloom, spontaneous snowball fight

should you watch?
If you love a classic cheesy Christmas movie, this movie is for you. However, if you're like me and can only watch a few before they all get a little too cheesy.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

what it's about
This is a sequel to the previously mentioned movie, A Christmas Prince. The sequel is about Amber and how she is navigating getting into the role of becoming a queen, transitioning to her life in Aldovia, and preparing for her wedding which just happens to be on Christmas.

what I thought
Just like the original movie, it was very cheesy. During the beginning of the movie my attention was a little split it because I was multitasking, but I got the gist of it. This Christmas movie definitely had a lot less romance than the typical cheesy Christmas movie but still had a lot of the classic elements. The levels of heart warmingness were on par with the previous movie and it was all very similar (as expected) to the vibe of the first movie.

heart-warmingness: 1/10
cheesiness: 10/10

notable classic holiday movie moments: Christmas wedding, first snow, sledding, tiny hints of romance embedded at the end for minor characters

should you watch?
If you liked a Christmas Prince, I would watch this one as well. It has a lot of similar elements and the same style as the previous one and it is interesting to see a continuation of the story beyond the "happy ever after" of the first one.

Christmas Inheritance

what it's about
Ellen Langford is an heiress to a multimillion dollar company called Home and Hearth. However, her father has reservations about passing the company down to her due to her "party heiress" title and attitude. As a result, he decides to task her with carrying the company "Christmas letters" to the co-founder of the company who resides in the small town of Snow Falls where they originally came up with the company.

what I thought
Honestly I wasn't paying full attention for the whole movie and I was on my phone while it was playing which is generally a good indicator of my interest. It just didn't captivate me. One of the reasons was that I didn't really like the chemistry between the leads much. Like in A Christmas Prince, the interactions felt kind of stiff and unnatural. I'm also generally not a huge fan of the "oops I'm stuck in this small town on Christmas eve" story plot lines, so I think that was also kind of a turn off for me as well.

heart-warmingness: 1/10
cheesiness levels: 9/10

notable classic holiday movie moments: "oops guess I'm stuck in this small town on Christmas eve", comment about how Christmas is about giving, character spontaneously decides to be charitable, key family heirloom

should you watch?
If you're a fan of the classic cheesy holiday movie, go for it. However, if you're like me and generally not super into the genre, I would skip this one.

The Princess Switch

what it's about
Stacy is a baker from Chicago who receives an opportunity to go to a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia, a (surprise) small European country in which there happens to be a monarchy. Because rom coms love their small European countries with monarchs. While in Belgravia, Stacy runs into the duchess, Margaret, who is engaged to the prince of Belgravia. The duchess, wanting a sense of normalcy, asks Stacy if they can switch places for 2 days. Within those two days, there's snow, romance, holiday cheer, and the classic elements of a holiday movie.

what I thought
I actually really liked this movie. While I love a good rom com, I'm actually not a big fan of the holiday rom com because they're just a little too cheesy for me. While this movie had cheesy elements, I still enjoyed it. It has the classic holiday movie moments and some of those are just essential as it is a holiday movie.

But I do have to say that at the end I was a little confused because things happened so fast but the time period for this story was really only like 2 days??? Like that's a little weird but okay it's a holiday movie - we get it, romance moves fast in these movies. There was also a meta moment that I was pretty into where they said that they wanted to watch a holiday movie and they opened Netflix (the Princess Switch is a Netflix original) and flipped through the other Netflix original holiday movies and decided to watch A Christmas Prince - which was pretty fitting.

heart-warmingness: 7/10
cheesiness Levels: 9/10

notable classic holiday movie moments: spontaneous snowball fight, random matchmaker guy that seems to be everywhere, "bad" guys messing with the main characters, "Christmas is about love", key family heirloom

should you watch?
Yes. This was probably my favorite of the holiday movies that I reviewed. It is predictable and sappy, but it was still enjoyable and I felt pretty happy at the end.

The Holiday Calendar

what it's about
Abby is a photographer who is stuck in a studio job that she isn't really passionate about. During the holidays, her family always pesters her on how she needs to get a "real job". Noticing her struggles, her grandfather presents her with a Christmas gift of an antique holiday advent calendar that her grandmother thought helped her and Abby's grandfather find each other. Abby soon notices that the calendar might possess magical qualities, as the toys behind each door are related to events that occur each day.

Since getting the calendar, Abby's best friend, Josh, who was traveling the world, recently returned home. She also meets a man named Ty, who she begins seeing at the beginning of the film.

what I thought
I did like that the movie emphasized how Abby's relationship with Ty is very superficial. At one point in the movie, she mentions how she feels like she barely knows him and all of the extravagant holiday dates that he sets up for her are exciting but over the top. I thought that this comment was almost like a nod towards the classic holiday romance movie where the relationship is very rushed and glamorous but in reality is probably not the strongest relationship. Therefore I liked that the movie

heart-warmingness: 7/10
cheesiness Levels: 6.5/10

notable classic holiday movie moments: wise grandpa, holiday themed dates

should you watch?
I liked this movie more than I liked Christmas Inheritance or any of the Christmas Prince movies. It was a pretty good holiday movie and wasn't overly cheesy (while still cheesy though) so I think that it's worth a watch if you're interested.

I Reviewed 5 Cheesy Holiday Movies

The other day, I was with some friends and we caught glance of a little occurrence by these strangers and for some reason found them SO funny. It was so funny to us that we just couldn't stop laughing, even as we were trying to explain what we saw. When we finally caught our breath, the explanation of what we saw sounds ridiculous because it seems like a completely normal situation that wouldn't be funny at all.

My friend saw a guy that waved hi to someone and dropped his cup and I saw someone eating pizza in an odd way and both times we couldn't stop laughing. Even though it seemed silly, having that moment made us feel happy. My friend said something along the lines of "you have to appreciate the little things" as an explanation for our intense laughter over normal things.

And that's true. You have to appreciate the little things.

So I want to take a moment to reflect on the little victories that I had this week. Whenever these tiny victories occur, I always want to share them with people because I'm so excited. Sometimes I share them with friends and family and other times I don't. Why don't I share them? Because I sometimes feel that they're so small that they're not so significant. But that's wrong. They are.

Related: Why You Shouldn't Skip Celebration Of Your Accomplishments

So right now I'm going to share all those little victories with you to appreciate the little things.

One. I finally understood the concepts from class!

While this seems pretty simple since you should always understand the concepts from class (thus the point of education), there's one class in particular that I had a lot of trouble following. Everything felt so abstract and like a whole different language and somehow everyone else understood it but I didn't. I left class that day feeling so lost. At my discussion, I felt like I understood it a bit more, but I still didn't feel that great about it. However, when I went home and revisited the concepts, I finally understood it. I was able to do the practice problems without any help and I felt like I was really beginning to understand it. Understanding it made me feel so smart, even though I definitely understood it later than other people did, and made me feel better about the class, thus the little victory.

Two. I did well on a test!

While it wasn't some big midterm that was worth 25% of my grade, I did much better on a test than expected. It was a good reminder to me that yes, I am capable of doing well academically. When we get bad grades, we often spiral, thinking that these grades define us, but we never give ourselves enough credit when we do well.

Three. I went to brunch with new friends and had a good time!

You know how sometimes you meet people and you say "we should meet up again sometime!" and never do? Well I actually met up with these people! We went to brunch at a Thai place and got to try lots of different and less traditional brunch foods. At the end of the day, I found myself feeling really happy and thinking "I had a great day", which is always a plus. Moral of the story: don't be afraid to reach out to people and ask them to meet up - it can be lots of fun and it's more likely than not that they're interested in meeting up again.

Four. I worked out!

I always struggle with getting myself to exercise and for me any form of working out is a success. I've been trying to get myself to do some kind of exercise (at any intensity) per week and last week I may or may not have skipped a workout. This week, I went to a pilates class and got my workout in for the week. It may not seem like a lot (because it isn't) but we're making progress and it's better than not at all. To me, this is a victory.

What are some little victories that you had this week?

I wish that I could say that I was one of those people that made friends easily and was a social butterfly but I'm not. One thing that I always wished that I had was charisma. I wish that I could be one of those people that easily talks to everyone, makes friends quickly, and is generally likeable. However, things are not that simple for me.

There have been so many times that I have been in a conversation and said something and immediately thought, "wow I hate myself, why did I say that?" There are times that I have been sitting in a conversation, racking my brain for what I should say next, not knowing what to say.

To prove to you that yes, I'm socially awkward, here are 3 things that scare me about socializing.

3 Things That Scare Me About Socializing

People judging what I say

I'm find myself feeling awkward because I am worried that people will judge what I say. I have a bad habit of changing the way that I act depending on the people around me. As a result, I'm careful with what I say around new people because I'm not exactly sure how to act. I want to be liked and I want to say the right thing, even though I know that there is no "right thing" to say.

Being viewed as "not cool"

This kind of links with people judging what I say, but I'm worried that if I "be myself" people might view me as lame. I'm the kind of person that likes nights in, likes sleeping early, and likes doing grandma activities. For most people my age, these are not the ideal activities. That's not to say that there aren't people that find those things cool like I do, I noticed that a lot of the blogging community is really into that. However, in my day to day life I encounter more people that are night owls that want to go out and party that would view my lifestyle as boring.

Seeming clingy

I always get the feeling that people don't really feel like talking to me, even though they probably don't mind. I think that I shouldn't bother them and when I talk to someone for a long time, I worry that I'm being too clingy. In fact, even after I meet someone, I'm scared to reach out in the fear of being clingy. I don't want to annoy them, so I just don't reach out at all. This is kind of an unnecessary fear because I love when people reach out to me. Sure, there are some times that I feel that people are being a bit clingy, but for the most part I appreciate it. Despite that appreciation, it still feels clingy to reach out and that feeling always stops me from doing so.

So what?

When you look at the list of all the things that scare me about socializing, they all seem a little irrational. They seem like silly things that I shouldn't be worrying about. After all, they're not that big of a deal. The thing about being socially awkward is that it is a little irrational, it's really just all in your head. It's the fears that make those awkward moments.

Whenever I stop having the fears of being socially awkward is when I socialize best. When the fears go away I have the best time. When I begin feeling comfortable to be myself I have a good time and genuinely enjoy social activities.

The fears hold you back.

So we've established that yes, indeed, I am socially awkward and scared to socialize. And I hate it. As a result, I've been trying to take actions to be a little more social. This means that I'm trying to go places alone (without the safety blanket of a friend) and socialize and make new potential friends.

I try not to let me fears stop me from making friends, building relationships, and being happier.

So when I started to write this post I wanted to make a list of a few things that I did recently that were socially awkward to further prove how terrible I am at socializing. I wanted to write a post about how you are not alone in your awkwardness, but as I write this I am beginning to realize that it's not just that you are not alone, it's that your awkwardness means less than you think it does.

When I tried to think about all the recent awkward moments that occurred, I cannot remember specifically what I actually said or what made the conversation "awkward". I can't remember any specific moment of me actually being awkward, even though there were many (many) moments.

Maybe there have been a few things that I said that I wished I didn't and maybe I mulled over those words for a few days, but that was just in the short term. In the long term, I really cannot remember, even if I try. I don't doubt that there were those moments, they were just never as impactful as I thought they were in the moment.

In the big picture, the little awkward moments are never the things that people remember.

The thing about being socially awkward is that the only way to not be socially awkward is to face your fear and socialize more. As a result, I know that I will have many more socially awkward moments. But that's okay. I know that the little awkward moments are nothing to be ashamed of.

The truth is that everyone is awkward. Socializing is difficult. The good thing is that no one (including you, eventually) will remember those awkward moments. They're just a flash of awkwardness every now and then but they are not forever.

Do not be afraid to be socially awkward. Everyone is every now and then, maybe even the most charismatic people you know. At the end of the day, you will not remember those little awkward moments, only the best times that you had when all those fears faded away. So if you're like me and feeling socially awkward, go out, make friends, mingle, and face your fears.
Ahh yes, the Instagrammable Museum of Ice Cream. If you haven't heard of it before, the Museum of Ice Cream is a museum centered around (you guessed it!) ice cream and other insta-worthy installations. The museum is permanently located in San Francisco, but they have done pop ups in other locations.

I've seen it on the feed before and it's been on my list for one of the places to stop by - and now I have! Here are some of the photos from the visit and notes for if you're interested in going.

getting there

This is a heads up: you NEED to purchase tickets ahead of time online. You cannot buy tickets at the door. When you purchase the tickets, you will need to select a certain time slot for your visit. I bought the tickets approximately a week before visiting and had no problems picking a time slot, all the time slots were open. 

notes about the visit

the lighting is oddly not as good as you would expect.

For a museum full of Instagrammable things, you would expect really great lighting. While the lighting isn't necessarily bad, it's not great either. Everything looks great in person but the lighting doesn't always translate well on camera. 

you get ice cream!

When I visited, there were 4 opportunities for ice cream. You get a small ice cream scoop of any of the Museum of Ice Cream flavors, a mochi ice cream, a popsicle, and some soft serve. I thought that it was a good amount of ice cream, each time was a small portion but it added up. It was really nice to get to try different flavors and it was always exciting when you walked into a room and they offered you ice cream. My favorite was the mochi. 

you only get three minutes in the sprinkle pool

The sprinkle pool, which is a four foot pool filled with sprinkles where you can dive into, is a fan favorite of the Museum of Ice Cream. Unfortunately, you only get 3 minutes (exactly 3 minutes, they time you) to get those cute photos and have fun in the pool. This was a little disappointing to me because I would have enjoyed a little more time there. 

is it worth the money?

I was apprehensive to visit because it is a little pricey at $38 per ticket. I had a student discount, which helped (it wasn't much but it was something). If you're thinking about visiting the Museum of Ice Cream, I think that it's worth it if you're interested. It's a fun experience and makes for some cute photos. The ice cream is a bonus, but the real attraction is the aesthetic. 

However, if you don't want to pay the fee, it's not the end of the day either. The photos taken by the Museum of Ice Cream on their Instagram account are GORGEOUS and really capture how it looks in person. Honestly, I don't think that my photos do it justice. You can look in awe at those photos which really show off the best parts of the museum. 

Two months ago, I wrote a post in which I followed Marie Kondo's KonMari method to clean my closet. In order to understand this post, I HIGHLY recommend that you go and read the post, I Followed Marie Kondo's KonMari Method To Clean My Closet And This Is What Happened, first. It went through the process of me learning the KonMari method, beginning to apply it, and what I liked and didn't like about it.

In the process, I learned a few things about decluttering, something that I think was SO useful, but there's one very important thing that we need to discuss: did that decluttering stick?

The thing about decluttering is that I do it every now and then in big batches, but I can never really stick with it. It'll be clean for a short while and then go back to the mess that it was before. Therefore while I may have started introducing the KonMari method into my life, I wasn't sure if it would stick.

So here we are, two months later, revisiting the KonMari decluttering method to see if it really stuck.

Within the past two months, I did go back to school, so the environment is a little different. In the last post in which I cleaned my closet, I cleaned my closet at home. As a result, I'm kind of starting over in the decluttering process. Therefore it's a great way to see if this will stick even when I need to restart.

Here are things from the KonMari method that I still do now.

I use the folding method.

When I first started using the KonMari folding method, I was so shocked as to how effective it was in utilizing the space and being more functional for long term tidiness. As a result, I still use the KonMari folding method. I don't fold as pristinely as I did before, mostly because when I do laundry it can feel tedious to have to fold so many clothes so well all the time. If I'm too lazy to fold them nicely, sometimes I'll leave some clothes on top messily folded instead of the neat horizontal manner. However, for the most part, I still use the folding method and have great appreciation for it due to the tidiness and the space saving qualities of it.

Use the spark joy method.

I like the spark joy method and I like to consider it when I purchase new things. I should only purchase things that I know will spark joy and be useful in my life.

Here are things that I don't do.

I (still) don't do the hanging method.

When we last talked about the KonMari method, I complained about how I didn't like the method of putting the clothes in the closet with the heaviest clothes on the left and the lightest on the right. I decided to disregard that method and I still haven't changed my mind. I'm happy with the way that things are, which is actually the opposite, with the lightest clothes on the left and the heaviest clothes on the right.

Use the spark joy method.

You might have noticed that I marked this as something that I do and I don't. That's because I do use the spark joy method when I get things - I try and think about whether or not the item I purchase will spark joy, but the thing that I don't really do is use it to discard things. When I discard things, I do still use the spark joy method, but I don't do it regularly. I only discard things in batches, whenever I'm trying to do a deep clean. As a result, I do use the spark joy method but not regularly.

This means that I tend to accumulate a lot of things and hoard them because I refuse to let go of them even though they no longer "spark joy".

Other things I now do to declutter

I'm pretty sure that none of these are picked up from the Marie Kondo method, but rather a different environment (being at home vs. school). A while ago, I tried Gretchen Rubin's clean up method of 5 minute tidying. Since I did that post, I have to admit that I haven't really stuck with it. However, I've noticed that recently, I've been beginning to do it more often. During the day, I'll do a quick little clean up, nothing major, and I find that my space on average is pretty clean and neat.

This is an idea that is echoed in the KonMari method, continuous tidying up so that you never really have to do a huge clean up purge. I still think that for discarding, I will need to do a big purge of a lot of things that no longer spark joy, but for general tidiness, I am now seeing that with a few minutes here and there, the place can stay tidy on a day to day basis.

Does the KonMari Method of Tidying Up Work Long Term?

4 Ways To Be More Social

I am a shy introvert. This means that I not only prefer being alone, but even with other people I find myself to be quite reserved. I mentioned before about my lack of social charisma, but I've found that just because I'm not charismatic does not mean that I can't be successfully social.

I've tried my fair share of tricks to try and get out of my comfort zone and talk to people. Here are some tricks that I've found can be useful in forcing yourself to be more social.

Ask a question

Asking a question is a great way to approach someone in an indirect way. It's a lot less intimidating than simply walking up and introducing yourself. The other night, I was at a party with a friend. She walked up to some random people and asked them which type of popcorn was the best type. They responded and then ended up starting a conversation with us. It's an easy way to start up a conversation that does not seem super direct and is a very "low-risk" situation if you get nervous (like I do) about talking to someone.

Join a recreational class that you don't know other people in

I always like socializing in an activity format. This means that there's something other to do besides just talking to people. This might mean an exercise class, a cooking class, a painting class, whatever fits your own interests. The good thing about the class is that them being there means that they might already have a common interest, you both picked the class after all. Additionally, it's nice to have something to do or something to talk about. You can ask people about what to do next in the activity, if they've done it before, bond over how difficult (or not) the activity is, and so on. Moreover, if you don't find anyone you click with much, then no worries, at least you got something out of it.

Enter existing conversations

Here's a confession. I eavesdrop. I always listen in on other people's conversations and it's so fun. However, I've found that you can turn eavesdropping from creepy to social by entering the conversation. You can say something like "I couldn't help but over hear _____, but...." to enter a new conversation. All it takes is a little confidence and self motivation to step out of your comfort zone to do so.

Initiate a meetup or conversation.

Once you get past the hellos and small talk, again seeing the person you clicked with might not happen. Sure, you can get great at meeting new people, but forming friendships need more time. As a result, don't be afraid to reach out. Invite someone to get coffee, grab lunch, or just send a "hi" to initiate conversation. With texting and social media, it's easier to casually ask people to social events with minimal effort. While this is something that I tend to be nervous to do (aka me worrying if I seem to clingy) I love when people invite me to things. suggesting that people will appreciate you reaching out more than you think. Don't overthink it.