Musings

When College Doesn’t Fit Right.

Happy Monday, my friends!

It’s graduation season! I’ve seen so many posts online of people at their graduation, it’s really heartwarming to see people whose hard work has come to fruition. I love it so much, especially when people are really passionate about the field they’re going into. They’re so alive with their potential and the possibilities that their college degree has granted them. It’s so strange to think that I started college three years ago, in August of 2016. I feel simultaneously as though that was ages ago and partially as though it was yesterday.

I’m writing this post having only recently made the decision to take some time off of school. Which isn’t something that I can admit without a slight tinge of embarrassment. I do feel quite embarrassed about it, honestly.  I overworked myself, tried too hard to be perfect, and as a result, I wound up severely burnt out. And I’m at the point where I’m questioning what I even feel passionate about. All the things I feel passionate about aren’t necessarily something you can get a degree in, trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve been an education major, an English major, and most recently, a Child Development major. And they’re all logical choices. I’ve always wanted to have children and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Then where does the problem lie? Why can’t I seem to stay committed to one major?

And honestly, I don’t know. It’s something that I’ve been praying about a great deal. What am I meant to do? How should I live my life? Where is my life taking me? Why can’t I just pick a dang major and stick with it so that I can graduate? Why!

Every fiber of me feels the need to graduate college in four years. Even the thought of taking time off of college makes me feel ill. Despite being a slightly strange child, and an even stranger teenager, I’ve always been very concerned about doing what I thought was expected of me. My people-pleasing ways strike again!

And I hate saying that I don’t have goals for the future, but I just can’t say that they coincide with academia. Which again, isn’t to say that I don’t like learning. I love it, I always have. I just can’t seem to find that zest for knowledge within the walls of college.

And I do think that a rather large part of this has been the burn out. I’ve tried to do too much throughout my college career which resulted in me feeling as though I could do nothing. I had no desire to learn, because I knew that I couldn’t show what I was learning with my professors. I am terrified of people finding me lacking, especially when it comes to intelligence.

I am at perpetual war with myself, my free-spirited tendencies clashing with the practicality deeply embedded in me. I want to do what I’m told is normal, but it causes such great unrest within me. I’m not motivated by success, I suppose. At least in the sense of wanting a career. I was drawn to an education major and a child development major because it mirrors what I want, but not enough. And the same for my English major.

If I had my dream world, it would involve me being a mother and also being a writer. Those have always been the things I’ve held closest to me. If y’all can tell by my slightly obsessive writing schedule and my need to hold every baby that’s within a couple feet of me.

Again, all of this is so terrifying to say. I don’t want people to think I’m too idealistic or lazy or unintelligent, because believe me, I realize that this all sounds kind of strange. But I know that there must be people out there who can relate, and maybe by sharing this, they won’t feel as though they’re alone. Alone in what, I don’t even know. I felt compelled to share my story because I know what college does to people. Even for people who have these grandiose visions that require years and years of schooling.

We all have different paths, so why do we feel as though we’re required to accomplish our goals the same way? Four years in college, grad school for some, but for the majority, right into the workplace. That can make even the hardest of workers go mad. I think it’s important for us to push ourselves so that we can evolve as people, but not to the point of exhaustion. I’ve talked about this several times, but I don’t think we should be living these fast lives. Of course there are some people who thrive with such lives, but I am not one of them. I’m a hard worker, but I am not a fast worker. I cannot work at a fast pace without compromising the quality of my work. That’s just how I’ve always been. I’ve spent much of my life trying to change that, but it’s who I am. And that’s okay.

I long for a world where people aren’t turned into numbers. They’re not defined by how long it took them to graduate college, how much money they make, or even how many hours they work a day. It drives me crazy! And I totally understand that people will disagree with this, but as always, I can only speak for myself. I have no desire to live a fast-paced life in the hopes of becoming a billionaire.  All I want is a comfortable life surrounded by those I love. My goals may seem small, or perhaps like I have no drive in life, but I don’t think that’s true. I think that my goals are worthwhile and I think that they’re important. Not everyone can be the same, the world would be unbalanced if this was so. We need dreamers, we need doers. We need people being true to themselves. People who are working hard, but are remembering that they are an individual.

I realize that I’m extremely privileged to be able to go to college and that is not lost on me. I am extremely grateful for all the options that I have, but because I have so many options, I feel it would be wrong for me not to utilize them. It’s a wonderful thing to have a choice and I realize that not everybody has one. I’m so thankful that I do. And none of this is to say that I won’t go back to college. Perhaps once I’ve taken some time off I’ll realize that I do want to pursue something that I haven’t even considered yet. I don’t know where life will take me. None of us do! Isn’t it exciting? 🙂

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

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Musings

How Much Should we Share Online?

Hello, friends! I hope that your Wednesday is going well. Almost to Friday! I’ve been working on this blog post for a little while now. I wanted to make sure that it was executed correctly. I wanted to be very careful to not hurt anyone’s feelings with it or anything of the like. I understand that life is different for everyone and that the internet plays a very different role in people’s lives. As always, I can only speak from my own experience.

I think that for everyone out there, the amount shared on the internet will vary, which makes perfect sense. It’s never in good taste to bully others online, but besides that, I understand that everyone has varying levels of comfort with what they share online. My mom, for example, has absolutely no social media and she couldn’t be happier about it. I one time mentioned that I saw a meal she pinned on Pinterest and she was shocked to find out it was public, “Oh, I don’t like that at all!”. I think that we have to find what works for us, but in a way, of course, that doesn’t negatively effect us. It’s not kind to make posts bullying others, but it’s probably also not in our best interest to make posts complaining about jobs, or even posting things that could deter employers from wanting to hire us.

It’s so tempting to overshare on the internet. From personal experience, it’s especially tempting to overshare when we feel lonely. I don’t really do this anymore, but I used to quite a bit. I would post whenever I was feeling negatively, especially when I was feeling poorly about myself. I would frame it as a joke, but it really never was. It’s right at our fingertips, an abundance of people, all listening ears. I think that every person and situation is different of course, but this can be a tricky thing to navigate. When do we go from being honest online to being too honest? When I’m feeling down in the dumps and am tempted to post online, I will instead do a couple of things.

I will journal how I’m feeling. I am a strong advocate for journaling and I think that it is especially great for moments where we want to overshare. Before the days of the internet, there were diaries. I’ve been journaling since I could write and let me tell you, there are many journal entries I’m glad are not on the internet. Nothing mean or anything, but just plain embarrassing. Journaling allows us to get our emotions out in a therapeutic and private way.

Or, I will call/text a friend to talk about whatever is bothering me. Most of the time we just need to get it out of our systems. I know that when we feel lonely, sometimes we feel as though we have nobody to talk to. While talking to someone who cares is the number one choice, journaling is a close number two. Again, every situation is different. I am not here to judge others for how they handle their feelings, I just want to give some options.

I think it’s important for us to periodically review our own social media and ask ourselves if it’s representing us in a way that we see appropriate. People change and sometimes you posted something that you thought was fine, but you review it and no longer want it online. I don’t think that there should be anything wrong with this. Our social media, after all, exists for us. If we don’t like something that we posted, it is within our rights to delete it. We need to be comfortable with what we are posting, because it’s often people’s first impression of us. I know that whenever I’ve started a new job, my co-workers will always tell me that they stalked my Facebook or Instagram before I started. I’ve also done it when other new people were hired on. I think it’s important to make sure your online persona is one that you feel comfortable it.

We face a dilemma that’s unique to to this generation. It can be very hard to refrain from posting things, because in the moment it seemed like a good idea. For me, a question I try to ask before posting is: Would I be comfortable talking about this in person? Again, this won’t apply to every situation, but I find it to be helpful. I cringe to think of some of the stuff I’ve posted in the past, but you live and you learn.

An example that comes to mind is when Bobby and I got engaged. I wanted to post it on Facebook right away, I was just so excited about it, I wanted the whole world to know! Instead of doing that right away, I did quite a few phone calls and texts to those that I’m very close to. The ones who would have felt sad if they had found out via Facebook.

I think that we must think before we post, even if it’s not inappropriate, will it make someone sad? Is it something that you should try to tell those close with you first, or is it okay for them to figure out on Facebook? It obviously differs situation to situation, person to person, but it’s definitely something to consider.

I think another thing that is very important is to be our genuine self on our social media. I think that for everyone, their online persona versus how they are in real life will always differ slightly. I WISH I was as cheerful as I was online, but sometimes, you don’t feel cheerful. I don’t think that’s being disingenuous, it’s just normal. Being genuine is important in our real life and in our internet lives.

There are also topics that some may find taboo, while others do not. I don’t think it would count as a topic per say, but for me, I don’t like to swear on my social media. I don’t swear in real-life, so for me, it doesn’t really translate to my online posting either. Some people are comfortable swearing online, which is fine. It is their personal decision. Again, what people are comfortable with differs greatly from person to person.

It’s so great being able to share so much with those on our friends lists, but I do think there is something to be said for NOT sharing everything. I think it’s important to have some moments that are private and shared between a couple of people and not the whole internet. However, yet again, I will stress that this differs person to person. I just think that we think before we post. Some people will think over a post and decide they’re not comfortable with it, where others may be in the same situation and find it 100% appropriate to post. It’s really at our own discretion, but I do think it’s important to always think before you post.

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

 

 

 

Musings · Uncategorized

The Art of Keeping a Cozy House.

Hello, friends! A happy Monday to you! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! I definitely did. I was able to spend lots of time with my family, which I always love. Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it was outside. Finally! Spring weather! Sundress season here I come!

I spent most of my Saturday at my Momma’s house, which got me to thinking about how cozy it is. How could I have forgotten that? How can I have a house that’s half as cozy?!

I have never wanted to live in a large home with expensive, white appliances and impractical white furniture. My heart skips a beat whenever I see old farm houses way out in the boonies. I love houses filled with antiques and well-loved furniture. Anything handmade or passed down from generation to generation, I adore. I understand that this is not everyone’s style and that some prefer a more polished and expensive home, but I am not one of those people. For us regular folk, it is also probably out of our price range. We shouldn’t feel ashamed about this, not at all. It’s not what makes a good home anyhow.

I’ll use my Momma’s home as an example, since my nest isn’t quite where I’d like to be yet. Especially right now. I’m trying to sell items I don’t have use for and in the process, I’ve kind of turned my apartment into a big ol’ mess. And let me remind y’all, it is far too small for a big ol’ mess. All part of the process, friends…

The flowers that I posted for the featured image are my mom’s. She bought them for $3.00 at Aldi, then put them in various clear jars and put them at both windows. It’s something that cost very little money, but made her home feel so much happier. It also kind of reminded me of one of my recent blog posts where I talk about little luxuries. My mother bought those flowers to brighten up the space and to give her just a little extra pep in her step. She only spent $3 on them and paired them with some jars that she already had. Not only is it the flowers that cozied up the place, but also the way she arranged them. Coziness goes hand in hand with ingenuity. It’s doing something unique with items, repurposing them when needing a bit of change. I took some inspiration from her and picked some daffodils that grow outside my church and put them on my windowsill. My aunt lent me a beautiful white vase to put them in and it pairs so nicely with the bright yellow of the daffodils. Just that little added something makes a home feel much cozier.

Bobby and I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored BIG time. We’re trying to find home decor for when we end up moving to Traverse City. We were able to find so much wonderful stuff. I bought some wicker baskets, a little homemade cup, and some wooden crates from a winery in Traverse City, two of them! (I also bought a beautiful red and white polka dot skirt, and Bobby found 13 DVDS) and we spent less than $50 on all of that! I want to scream from the rooftops that it’s not about where you buy something or how much it costs that makes the item a treasure. I spent the remainder of the day giddy about my $3.00 wicker basket.

A cozy home is one where people feel comfortable. It is a tidy home, but it does not need to be spotless. It’s simply doing your best. Life gets busy sometimes and maybe laundry isn’t number one on your to-do list. That’s okay. It also doesn’t mean you have expensive furniture or a freakishly large TV, instead, it’s a place where everyone has a place to sit and a feeling of belonging.  Where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Play a board game, talk to each other, maybe even share a meal.

A cozy home is one where the host/hostess is friendly and makes their guests feel at home. You may not have the most expensive food or be the best cook, but let your guests know that they’re welcome to what you have. Offer them a coffee, a tea, or a glass of water. If they’re spending the night, let them know where the extra blankets are. Act as though you are happy that they’re there, do not act as though they’re a burden! The kindness you give, mixed with the coziness of the home can make for a wonderful time, for both you and your guests!

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in photos and lives we see online. We go to Pinterest for inspiration and instead we start feeling bad about our own home. We follow an Instagram account for DIY tutorials, but instead we feel bad about our skills. This is so harmful to us! We’re so lucky to have these resources, but we must remember that our homes do not need to be copies of what we see online. What’s the fun in that anyways? What makes a home beautiful is the people within it. It’s fun to decorate and create a cozy environment, but at the end of the day, what’s truly important is the time we spend with our loved ones, our home is just a place to make that possible.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

The Joy of Cooking for Others.

Hello, friends! We’ve made it! It’s Friday! I’m SO ready to put on some cozy clothes and relax. Maybe figure out what I want to cook for lunch. Speaking of lunch…

I was lucky enough in life to be born into a family of fantastic cooks. I’ve been fed so many delicious meals in my life. And gosh, homemade cooking certainly is filled to the brim with love. In my experience, the secret ingredient is always love. My family always jokes around, “The secret ingredient is love!” “Oh! That’s why it tastes so good!”.

In our hectic lives, it sure can be a challenge to find the gumption to make a meal from scratch. We typically will opt for something a little easier, a drive-thru or pizza delivery, or perhaps a frozen meal. And believe me, I have utilized all of those and with zest. Especially as a busy college student.

I’ve been making the biggest of efforts lately to make more food at home. As I said in my last blog post, I was making my first-ever homemade batch of banana bread. For those curious, it turned out wonderful. Bobby said it was one of the best pieces of banana bread he ever had! I’ll take it!

I absolutely love that I’ve been getting more into cooking lately. It’s so fun looking for different recipes online, utilizing cookbooks, and, my personal favorite, trying out family recipes. Bobby’s favorite is my Aunt Nonie’s white chicken chili. I kid around with him saying it’s the only reason he proposed to me, hehe.

To me, it’s so exciting being able to give someone a handmade dessert to make their life a little sweeter. Or maybe bring them a little container full of soup when they’re too busy to cook for themselves. It’s a way to nurture those you love. I love when I have days off to spend cooking and baking for Bobby and myself. He is a very gracious eater, he will tell me my cooking tastes good even though I know, 100%, that it is a little too burnt. Or when I overcook rice, he swears up and down that he likes when rice is crunchy. Isn’t he wonderful?

I have many fond memories of cooking and baking with my Aunt Nonie. We made brownies, cookies, goofballs, potpies, deviled eggs, and so much more. Yesterday, she stopped by to bring me some goofballs and I was able to give her some banana bread. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be able to gift her something handmade, as she has done for me my entire life.

I feel like one can use cooking to fulfill each and every love language! Let me explain…

It is a gift you can give to your loved ones, making someone’s favorite meal shows that you listen to their likes and dislikes. People whose love language is receiving gifts, I think, like to know that people are listening to them. If they talk about how they hate the raisins in oatmeal cookies and you give them a batch, despite your best intentions, they probably won’t feel loved. BUT, if you make them a batch of oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips instead, they will appreciate that you were not only listening to them, but also gifted them with something so thoughtful.

You can spend time together cooking, for those whose love language is quality time. Cooking can be done together, which is such a fun thing to do. Decorating cookies can be a fun and silly way to be in the kitchen, even if both parties aren’t very good at cooking.  Another way that you can spend time with each other is to eat the food together! You could have a little tea party with coffee and tea with some yummy sweets or cute little sandwiches. On a side note: why don’t we have more tea parties? All my practice as a little girl was for naught, I have been to ZERO tea parties as a young adult.

You can compliment each other on your cooking, for someone whose love language is words of affirmation. (Me! Me! Me!) Or if you’re cooking for someone else, you can compliment them by saying, “I know that you’ve been working so hard lately, I thought you might enjoy a home-cooked meal. You deserve it!” Or maybe even a nice little pasta dish with a cute note attached. Just showing them that not only were you thinking of them, but you were also appreciating them.

Some people’s love language is physical touch. Bringing someone a fresh batch of cookies with a hug can be a really powerful thing as well. I can’t think of anything cozier than a batch of cookies AND a nice hug! Sometimes life gets complicated, and something so simple can fix it, even for just a moment.

And for the one that fits the absolute best, acts of service! Cooking for someone is such a great idea if this is their love language. Cooking can be quite labor intensive and is certainly an amazing fit. Or, if you have a loved one who cooks for you, doing the dishes for them would be a great act of service to do as a thank you! Bobby does really well at doing the dishes if I make a big meal. Acts of service is Bobby’s love language. I find it so cute, because making a dish for us is like saying, “I love you!” and when he does the dishes, it’s like him saying, “I love you, too!”.

There are so many wonderful ways we can tell each other that we love one another, but today I wanted to focus on cooking. I’m such a sensitive and sentimental person that writing this blog post has made my little heart ache with all the love I have for those close to me! I’m thankful for all the new ways I’m learning to show people my love, and cooking is my new favorite!

Have a great day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

The Importance of Community and Game Night.

Hello, friends! I hope that ya’ll are having a great Monday! Today was such a gloomy lil day,  which I usually enjoy, but I’ve been really craving some sunshine lately. April showers bring May flowers though, so that’s a thought full of sunshine on its own!

As an introvert, I generally default to wanting to be alone, but I think it’s times like those that make it all the more important to seek community. I grew up being so excited for holidays because it meant that I would be surrounded by all of my favorite people. It was always so fun to me and made me wish that there were more holidays. But you know what’s really amazing about being an adult? There’s nothing stopping you from making your own holidays! Anything can be an excuse for getting together with the people that you love.

That being said, I still get very nervous being the host, so I haven’t done that as much as I’d like to. My apartment is also the size of a hallway, but that’s neither here nor there. Hosting shouldn’t be about what your home looks like, but the sense of community felt is what’s important. I lose sight of that sometimes. I question what I have to offer, I don’t have the nicest apartment, I’m not the best cook, and I’m not the best hostess, but those things aren’t the most important thing when it comes to building a community. We all have our talents and when everyone is able to come together to create a fun night, it makes the night all the more special. There are so many ways one can contribute, making a homemade dish, supplying chairs, or even bringing a deck of cards. The list really goes on.

I think with social media we face a brand new problem, we’re so connected with one another and disconnected at the same time. I love that phones are able to connect us with people that are so far away from us, FaceTime is one of my favorites. I love being able to FaceTime Bobby when he’s away for work and I’ve been able to FaceTime my Grandma recently! It’s so much better than talking on the phone! There are so many wonderful ways that the internet allows us to connect with people and it’s a great way to make an online community, but I will say that it does not replace having that community in person.

Sometimes we aren’t so lucky to have friends near us, or maybe even friends at all. I remember my summer before college, all of my friends had already left and I felt so alone. I would bike around town and it made me feel a lot better. I yearned for that interaction with people and wanted nothing more than to feel that sense of community. I think that sometimes we just need to be around people, even if we don’t directly interact with them. Humans naturally need that interaction. I know that on days when I’m feeling especially down and lonely, it does me so good to be out and about.

Just as we need our alone time, we really need time with other people. A sense of community is something that is so important. As an introvert, sometimes it’s hard to recognize that I need that time with other people. And not to isolate myself! That’s another thing that I tend to do. One of my favorite ways to socialize with people is to have a good, old-fashioned game night. It’s especially great if you’re just getting to know people. It busies everyone and makes sure that there aren’t (as many) awkward silences. Add some yummy snacks to the mix and BAM, instant success.

The amount of social time people need varies, but it’s important for us all to build a community. I think that community is an overlooked aspect of life. I think it’s crucial that we don’t let community fade into the past. We have to be conscious in our efforts to create our own community filled with people who lift us up and help us grow.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope that you enjoyed this post!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

5 Ways to Stop Needlessly Spending on Clothes.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! I hope that your week has been going great so far!

I wanted to write a little blog about how I’ve been saving money lately. I’ve mentioned before that I love shopping, but I’ve been trying to stop spending frivolously. These are some tips that have helped me. Some of these ideas are going to be repeated from past blogs, but I think that they’re good tips nonetheless. I hope that you’re able to find some use in them!

  1. Mend items when broken. This one doesn’t apply to every situation where you may want to spend needlessly, but it’s already made a difference in my spending. When you change your mentality from buying things with fixable flaws to taking the time to fix them, buying things willy-nilly seems wrong. I’ve always enjoyed sewing, but I’ve never been an expert at it. So my handiwork isn’t always pretty, but it is functional.
  2. Unsubscribe from mailing lists, be it snail mail or email. This is one that I’ve only recently started doing. For the longest time, I was subscribed to all sorts of different brands, constantly being bombarded with emails promising “50% off! or “Buy One Get One Free!”. And don’t get me wrong, I adore myself a good deal, but these sorts of emails are a little tricky. If you don’t purchase something, you are automatically saving 100%. If you spend that money, you are spending money just for the sake of saving money! It’s quite ridiculous. If you’re needing to buy something, you can almost always wait until it’s on sale, which is sort of a bonus tip. These mailing lists tempt you with a new sale brought by a new email almost daily. It’s so much easier to resist the temptation if you’re not subscribed to their emails.
  3. Clothing swap with friends. We don’t always have the same style as our friends, which makes swapping clothes with them even more fun. You’re able to test out new styles without having to spend a single dime, and they’re able to do the same! It also allows you to free up space in your closet, by giving some unloved clothes to your friends!It benefits everyone involved!
  4. Repurpose clothing. Sometimes we own clothing that we bought for just a small detail of it. A great example of this is buying a dress that you love the fabric of, but maybe don’t love how it fits you. You could make it into a different sort of dress, turn it into a shirt, or maybe use the fabric for pillow cases. It’s really fun to do and as a bonus, it allows you to have a completely unique piece! How cool is that!

These are all great ways that I’ve found to help me save money. We can’t change so many of our expenses in life, rent, utilities, and taxes to name a few… we might as well do our best to save some money where we can! And another added plus to all of this is that it’s good for the Earth! Which is always a plus for me.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope that I was able to give you a tip or two that will benefit you!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

It’s Okay that your Pinterest DIY was a Fail.

Hello, friends! Happy Monday! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend time with your loved ones. I had such a lovely weekend. I was able to spend lots of time with my favorite people, eat lots of yummy food, and most importantly, celebrate the fact that He is risen!

This blog is brought to you by my Sunday morning. I found a really cute Pinterest recipe for chocolate covered strawberries that looked like cute little carrots. I bought all of the ingredients and was so dang excited to make them, but when I got to making them… they sure as heck were not coming out as cute as I had expected. Something about me, that I’ve probably mentioned before, is that I am quite the perfectionist. This does not serve me very well, because I also have this thing where if I’m not able to do something perfectly, I just… don’t do it. I have this expectation of myself that I should be able to do something for the first time absolutely perfectly, which never is the case. I get embarrassed so easily and when I think there’s a situation where I could end up being embarrassed, I want to avoid it at all costs.

It’s not a good thing, because I don’t ever want to leave my comfort zone and as you know, not much growth happens inside of our comfort zone. Being embarrassed is natural, we can’t always be perfect at everything. Which may sound super obvious, but it’s something that I struggle with a lot. I want to be good at everything and when I’m not automatically perfect at something, I don’t want to do it. I’ve talked in previous blogs about how there isn’t as much fear if you consciously choose not to do something, because you can tell yourself, “Well, if I wanted to try and do this, I probably could.”, but at the end of the day, you really don’t know what would happen or how good you would or wouldn’t be at something.

I think that Pinterest DIY’s are a good example to use for many reasons. The first one being something that I hadn’t really even though about, until Bobby brought it to my attention in the midst of my Easter meltdown. The fact that a lot of things on Pinterest are probably edited in such a way to make them look perfect. Which isn’t to discredit the hard work the creators put into their craft, I merely want to point out something that we all probably know on a deep level, but forget about it when consuming online media. This applies also to social media in general, whether it be a Pinterest DIY, an Instagram influencer’s life, or maybe even a Youtuber’s romantic relationship. It’s so easy for us to consume this media and let it influence us in a negative way. We think that we can’t create or express ourselves because we won’t be as smart, as pretty, or as famous as other people. Which puts us into a box that restricts us from getting better at things, because we worry that we won’t be able to do it perfectly.

Another thing that I’ve said before in previous blogs is that sometimes we need to look at the big picture of things, instead of getting too focused on the little things. For this, I was so concerned with how this dessert ended up that I was forgetting how excited I was to see all these people that are so dear to me, I was only thinking about this Pinterest DIY. In my head, Easter was dependent on the outcome of it. Which I can go ahead and say was not the case at all. It’s so easy to look back on myself and think about how silly it is that I was so flustered about this, but Sunday morning, this was SO important. The mean part of my brain was telling me that if it turned out poorly nobody would like me and I was a failure and that I would never be good at anything. What the heck! All because of a Pinterest DIY! These mean and silly thoughts are only amplified when it comes to other things, such as school or work.

I wish I could say that I have advice for these feelings, but I’m still trying to figure out how to manage them myself. I suppose the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to practice, practice, practice, even if you feel embarrassed, or stupid, or like you won’t ever be good at anything. As hard as it is, that’s really the only way that you can learn to be better at things.   It does not benefit you if you only give yourself one little chance to be good at something. You’re restricting yourself and making it a given that you will never get any better at something. It’s much better to try your best at something several times and decide that you don’t enjoy it than spend your life wondering if you would enjoy it and maybe even be really good at it. I think it’s okay to enjoy doing things that we’re not really great it, but I don’t think it’s okay to try something once and decide we’re never going to do it again. And as for most of my blogs, if not all of them, this is mainly a big ol’ note to self.

I like sharing my struggles and experiences with the world on the off-chance it speaks to at least one person. Blogging is something that is a combination of things that I feel confident and also scared about. And the things I’m confident in or not confident in change day by day. I love writing and generally think I’m a decent writer, but some days I convince myself that I’ve never written anything good in my life. Putting myself out there on the internet is scary, I worry that people think I’m silly for trying to pursue blogging, but the other part of me loves it so much that I don’t want to stop, even if someone were to think it’s odd. I guess that the fear we feel sometimes is worth it when we’re able to find the things that we’re truly passionate in.

Thanks so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Note to Self: You don’t Have to Buy a New Dress for EVERY Holiday.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! The weekend is upon us, thank goodness. I am so excited because this weekend is Easter and I get to spend time with not only my family, but Bobby’s family too! How crazy is it to think that in six short months they will officially be my in-laws? It’s so exciting!

I think it’s important to celebrate our small accomplishments, but gosh, some feel so trivial.  This being one of them — I didn’t buy a new dress for Easter. I typically buy a new pretty dress for every holiday, which is so wasteful, because I have so many pretty dresses already. I suppose I felt like I had to, so that when I took photos, I wouldn’t be wearing something that I had already taken pictures in. How silly is that! I looked at bloggers I liked and noticed that they seldom wore clothes more than once. I thought that to be a blogger I had to keep up with that and even try to replicate it! Lately, I’ve been trying to find fellow bloggers that enjoy simple living and don’t buy new dresses for every holiday. The people I followed were all lovely, but I found that following them on social media gave me this extra itch to shop. Keeping our social media filled with good influences as opposed to bad influences is something that I’ve really been working on lately. Along with trying not to use social media quite as often. I think that the two paired together can really improve our life.

I don’t think that it’s inherently wrong to love our possessions, but I do think we should avoid loving the idea of possessions. I think that owning things we do not love and cannot use is where the problem is. There are certainly dresses that I’ve bought that I did not love, I only bought them because I thought they would work for one particular occasion. Afterwards, it sits in my closet, unworn and unloved. To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting pretty dresses, I personally never feel more confident than when I’m wearing one. For me, they have purpose and I love them. For someone who does not love them, it wouldn’t make sense for them to buy them. I think the issue is buying clothes (or items) that you don’t love, or only buying something for one use. I’ve seen the idea online of shopping one’s closet, which I absolutely adore. I want to start doing this more. To fall back in love with what I already own and if I cannot do that, donate the piece so that hopefully someone can find joy and use from it. I am trying to get rid of pieces in my closet that don’t work with many items. I want to eventually have a closet full of pieces that can me mixed and matched with all my other clothing. This takes time and I’ve been slowly beginning the process of getting rid of useless pieces and obtaining pieces that I find to be more useful. Which sort of brings me to another topic: buying clothes that are timeless versus clothes that are trendy. Perhaps another blog about that? I get so long-winded in these! I need to be better about that, but it’s so hard when you’re so passionate about what you’re talking about!

I think I’ll finish the post here, so that this post doesn’t end up being too long! I hope that you enjoyed reading and I can’t wait to be back with another post on Monday! Happy Easter!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Thoughts One Has When Mending Jeans.

Hello friends! I hope that you are having an amazing week! I thought that I’d begin this blog with a little joke. One that I certainly did not make up, but a joke nonetheless. One that has certainly gotten many an eye-roll.

“Those your church pants?”

“No.”

“Then why are they so holy?” 

(Hehe!)

On Monday, I ripped my jeans while sitting down for dinner. Which is fine, but this is my THIRD pair of jeans I’ve ripped in the past couple of months. Two of which I ripped whilst at work! Which is totally embarrassing, but luckily Bobby was able to bring me a new pair of pants to wear.Which doesn’t feel great, but it did get me to thinking about a couple of things.There are many emotions that can be felt when ripping one’s jeans. (Or maybe I’m just a tad sensitive…) Annoyance — this was my last pair of jeans! Embarrassment — This is the second time that I’ve ripped my pants at work! Or even worry — I really can’t afford to buy any new jeans! And I have felt these things, but I’m trying to shift my way of thinking.

  1. I currently have three pairs of jeans that need mending, which is coincidentally the number of jeans I own. I much prefer wearing dresses or my overalls. My initial thought was to go buy a couple of new pairs, but instead, I’m going to mend the ones I already own. This will save money and I’ll also be able to practice my sewing skills. It’s so interesting to think about how our way of living hasn’t been around for very long. Our culture of buying, buying, buying is a relatively new one. The days of mending what’s broken seem to be long gone. I really don’t want to say that everyone is this way, because I know of some lovely people who put in the effort to fix what’s broken. I, unfortunately, have generally been the kind of person who buys new things when they break. I’m trying to get myself out of this consumeristic way of thinking. I want to love each and every thing that I own and I want to feel the desire to fix it. It also shows a sense of pride over one’s possessions, which I think is important too. Why own items that we don’t have a use for, or items that we don’t love? I suppose there is some sort of comfort in owning things, but I don’t want to receive comfort from things anymore. Or at least to that degree. I am working on being more conscious of what I own. I want to only own things that I love. This will also help me want to mend what I have, because I won’t want to part with it.
  2. Instead of getting down on myself for gaining weight and ripping holes in my pants, I’m choosing to be kind to myself. These things happen. They can be fixed. Our bodies, much like our lives, are perpetually changing. It’s important to take care of our bodies, but whether or not a pair of jeans fit is not representative of our overall health. This also had me thinking about something else that I really cherish about slow living. Slow living includes making food in the home, instead of eating out. Bobby and I have gotten a little lax about it and have been eating out much more than I’d care to admit. This week we’re doing a no spend week and it’s been wonderful, of course for the bank account, but it’s also forced me to be a bit more creative with what we eat. We’ve been having some really fun meals, using up items in the cupboard that may have been there for awhile. I think that it’s much easier to eat healthy when you’re preparing your own food and I think this is one reason that I’ve been able to be a little kinder about ripping my jeans. I’m making efforts to improve my health, so there is absolutely no point in beating myself up about weight.

I love the idea of mending clothes instead of getting rid of them because it’s beneficial for the Earth, one’s pocketbook, and one’s sense of worth. There’s such a sense of unique accomplishment when mending something, be it a dining room table, a cracked teacup, or even a frayed pair of jeans. While we’re being kind to our possessions, make sure we’re being kind to ourselves as well. 🙂

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Why We Need to Stop Romanticizing Being Perpetually Busy.

Hi, friends! I hope that y’all are doing well. Today’s blog post is a little different, I suppose. I don’t really know where I want to end up with it, but I’ll start here: I don’t think it’s healthy for anybody to be busy all the time. But it’s something that we seem to treat positively, as though it’s admirable or something to strive for. I think it’s admirable, but I don’t think it’s something to strive for. I applaud every hard-worker out there, and respect them endlessly, I just worry about society forcing busyness onto people.

I think that it’s so profoundly sad that we live in a world where we feel the need to always be busy. I know it’s something that I struggle with. I began to make it part of my identity. I would, in a very strange way, brag about always being busy, as if it made me worth more than I would if I was busy a healthy amount. I think we’re too focused on moving forward, moving forward, moving forward. We seldom let ourselves just be.

I feel as though there are going to be some people that disagree with me on this, and that’s okay. I just really feel like I needed to speak my opinion on the matter. We’re only human, we need time to recharge. I used to work and/or go to class every single day, week after week, month after month. I was miserable. I didn’t have any time to charge, but I would still brag about it, in the strangest sort of way. I don’t know why. Maybe I thought people would think I was a better person, somehow? That’s probably what it was. Which still makes no sense.

Sunday’s are supposed to be a day of relaxation and reflection, but how often do they turn into a day where you try to get your whole entire life together? For me, it’s more often than not. I make myself lists, long, long lists, that are absolutely impossible to finish in a day. I’ve been trying so hard not to do this anymore. Lately, I have been making a list of five things per day. Generally, it has one or two schoolwork things that HAVE to get done, a household chore, and then a couple self-care activities. An example would be:

To-Do List

1.Turn in annotated bibliography.

2. Do dishes.

3.Take meds.

4.Take shower.

5.Post blog.

I think it’s important to have some items on the list that are fairly simple, so that you can feel some accomplishment in your day. Before, I was putting so much difficult stuff on my lists that I would go days without being able to check anything off. And let me tell you, it’s not going to motivate you whatsoever.

Finding the balance is so dang hard, and I’m still trying to find a balance in my life. It’s very hard to do, but I suppose it’s something that we all just need to keep working on. We must continue (or start) listening to our bodies and our minds, so that we know what we’re capable of. And it’s extra important to be honest with yourself about this. Whether it be realizing that you need to do more work, or whether it be you realizing you need to do less work. Everyone is different and we need to accept this. The amount we can get done in a day is different. I’ve always been pretty slow and things take me so long to do. I move at a slow pace and therefore get things done at a slower pace. But hey, they’re still getting done, right?

We need to quit worrying so much about what we should be able to do, and instead, focus on what it is that we can do.

Thank you so much for reading, friends. I appreciate the fact that I can send my words out on the internet and they can reach so many people. Much more effective than a message in a bottle. Although not quite as cool, I must admit.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae