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Life Update: Where I Have Been

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Grad School and Pandemic Woes

Hello everyone! If you are reading this, then you likely know I have been away for quite some time.

The last eight months have definitely been challenging for everyone dealing with the pandemic. I hope you are all doing well despite the challenges associated with lockdowns, family dynamics, financial struggles, political differences, and everything else this crazy year has brought. I have faith that things will get better with time.

As the saying goes, it’s always the darkest before the dawn. I believe that no matter how tough things get, we can come out stronger on the other side of any situation.

Over the last year, I took the necessary time off from blogging to focus on my final semester of grad school. The workload got quite intense in the final months. It was very difficult to balance the academic life while working full-time.

Yet, I finally graduated this past May and I now have my master’s degree! I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to earn my degree while working full-time. I am a first generation college graduate so this is a massive goal that I have finally accomplished.

Last year, I also took on more responsibilities at work and was even in the process of being promoted. Then the pandemic hit us all like a ton of bricks! Suddenly along with everything and everyone else, the higher education system was hit hard financially which has understandably put an indefinite hold on my promotion at least for the next year.

I know it is natural to feel disheartened after working so hard towards a goal, but I am doing my best to practice gratitude. Personally, I’m grateful to still have a job while I know others are seriously struggling during this time. My heart goes out to everyone struggling and I pray you will receive the proper resources and assistance to get you through this difficult time.

COVID-19 has truly altered all facets of our society. It seems bizarre to think about how much we took for granted in the past. Last year, I never would have thought it would become impossible to enjoy a group meal or take a plane to see my family.

It is difficult to predict when this pandemic will end. The last time our world was impacted like this was over a hundred years ago during the the 1918 influenza. It took several years for life to return to normal. I hope with modern technology that this virus will be conquered quickly, but there is no way for us to know for certain.

Make Time for Yourself

Self-care during this time is so important. Since we are encouraged to social distance in Boston, I have been making an effort to journal, set goals, workout, read, craft, and make some positive changes in my life. It’s difficult to stay motivated when it feels like nothing makes a difference, but setting small goals is crucial to staying motivated.

Family and Friends

My family is all over the country and I have friends across the globe, so it is difficult being away from them. It’s crazy to think that it has been almost a year since I have been able to visit my mom in Pennsylvania. I’m dying to go home, but with the pandemic, it’s a risk to her health since she is not only over 60, but an RN as well. I am hoping I will be able to visit in December once I am tested and cleared but we just can’t predict the future outlook of the pandemic. For now I am spending a lot of time on zoom calls with friends and family. Locally I am doing a lot of hiking day trips with my boyfriend.

Direction of my Blog

I have done a lot of self reflection during the last year and I realized that I want to reconnect with who I am as a person and a blogger.

When I moved to the city, I made friends via a local blogger meetup group, however I noticed that I was beginning to slip into an area of blogging that I just do not identify with which is the fashion/beauty blogging niche. While trying to fit in, this led to a serious case of writer’s block and confusion on my part. I wish I would have come to this realization sooner, but it’s all about the journey right?

While I definitely applaud bloggers and influencers that have a talent for blogging about upscale fashion and beauty, I am just not that girl. I couldn’t tell you one identifier of a designer brand over another. Nor do I personally care for promoting fast fashion in today’s world.

However, I want to stress that this is no absolutely no judgement on anyone else. I adore my blogging friends and want them to flourish and succeed! It’s just a fact that after some reflection I realized that it is just not who I am as a blogger.

I’ll never be the most sophisticated girl with the latest designer brand on or even care to. I am from the rural countryside in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. My childhood was spent running through fields barefoot, fishing at the pond with my dad, and playing hail bail tag with my friends.

I have a passion for thrift stores and hunting for cute secondhand clothes. I love going to country flea markets with my mom and spending my time hiking in the woods with my boyfriend. I relax doing simple things like baking, embroidery, and spoiling my fur babies. In a way, I want to return to my roots and blog about topics I am truly passionate about and can identify with.

Understanding that Change is Okay

It is okay to allow yourself to fail, regroup, and try again. I hope to take this blog in a new direction on topics like hiking, nature, baking, life, self-care, photography, and more. Topics that are also practical during this age of social distancing because lord knows we can’t travel like we used to!

Thank You

If you have made it this far into reading this post, I thank you for taking the time. I hope you will take your own personal growth journey during the pandemic or perhaps find a fun project to share with others. I love seeing all the creativity people are producing during this time. Wishing you lots of light and love!

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