Live like Jen by Being You!

“This is real. This is me. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be now!…” Go ahead, keep singing the rest because I am sure you know it!

Yes, I did just quote lyrics from Demi Lovato’s song in the ever iconic Camp Rock and you probably started hearing the song in your head too. There is no shame in singing a good tune from your childhood every now and then, right? Well let me let you in on a little secret: this used to be my JAM! As a freshmen in high school I would turn it up so loud on my iPod touch and rock out (no pun intended), dance around and sing both Mitchie’s and Shay’s part. I feel sorry for anyone who had to bear witness, but for me personally it was a great time!

As cheesy as this may be, I really think there is something special in songs like this. The message of “This is Me” was all about finding yourself and being proud of that! I was reminded of the beauty in uniqueness this week as my house mates and I had an entire conversation on the literal steps we go through when taking a shower. Why this topic came up is beyond me, but nonetheless it did. From this I found out two things:

1) My friends have strange, strangggeeee showering habits (I won’t go in to detail because they are probably reading this), but yet they were confused by mine. Like they were surprised that I washed my feet in the shower, but isn’t that normal?

But more importantly…

2) Normal is relative. We all go through some of the same daily task, but we just tackle them differently and that is how it is meant to be! When I get bogged down by insecurities of not fitting in one of my favorite quotes from a friend is “You are called to be different!” The term called is so strong, because it shows that part of my purpose in life is to show my uniqueness! Just this week actress Jennifer Aniston posted about being confident in self-acceptance as well.

As you leave this post and head into the weekend I hope you choose to embrace you! I am fully aware that I am weird and goofy, but I like to think it is just the right amount because it is what I was called to be! There is freedom in acceptance and joy in showing that to the world. Remember, Jennifer Aniston is a person who showers too, making all of us similar, but I bet her shower stays warm longer than five minutes which is a colder reminder that we are still very different. Go blast that song that is your anthem and be YOU!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

Handling a Case of F.O.M.O.

So you decided to stay home, wrapped in a blanket, just you and the t.v. having some quality bonding time. In the moment you are enjoying every second of your night, especially marveling at the thought of going to bed early, a thought that almost seems bizarre at least in college. Then you make the mistake of checking your phone and social media as soon as you wake up. It starts setting in. It is engulfing your thoughts so quickly… You have just been hit with a case of “F.O.M.O.”

While the above scenario might not describe you perfectly, I believe we all struggle with this “Fear of Missing Out” sometimes. Whether it is unknowingly or very apparent, it happens. It’s a feeling that can make you regret your decision of not going somewhere or perhaps pushes you towards a decision because you are afraid of missing something. But neither one of these things leave us feeling good about ourselves, so why do we let it seep in to our thoughts? We can blame a lot of this on social media because it is now here to document every single event in our lives and display it for the world to see, but it is not the only source. I think even before social media the F.O.M.O. feeling was real, just maybe not so artistically named. Think back to elementary school, when you heard your friends recap the awesome sleepover they had over the weekend that you chose not to attend for whatever reason, that feeling of being left out of memories and stories was still there. This makes me think that it is more innate that we all desire to feel included. I know what you are thinking, “Duh Carly! That’s not profound.” and you are right, but it is something so simple that we forget about and let it affect our lives so much. Here are some suggestions that might help combat F.O.M.O.

  • Identify what bothers you most about missing out on things. Is it because you don’t want to be considered lame for not being there, you don’t want to be left out of conversations, or maybe you are trying to push yourself to do more activities.
  • Find the driving source that ignites the F.O.M.O. feeling. Is it after scrolling through social media feeds or listening to the recap from your friends. Whatever is it, note that and if the feelings arise again maybe you should stop scrolling, tune out or leave the conversation.
  • Know your motivation behind your actions. Make sure you are going out or doing something because you will really want to for genuine enjoyment, not self guilt.
  • Understand that social media is an altered reality. People only post what they want everyone to see, so more times than not it is going to be when they are looking the finest, having fun and living up life. It also, does not have to be in real time. Example: I am currently writing this with no make-up on and my hood over my head, but I could post a picture of me all dressed up at dinner and no one would ever know!
  • Give your mind and body what it needs….rest. You don’t always have to be moving or going to every event to be normal or cool. Sometimes your body needs to relax and your mind needs not to worry or over analyze life. Be okay with that!

F.O.M.O. is so real if you let it be. Trust me, I am bad at it so this post speaks to myself as well. But if we are more intentionally aware of our thoughts and practice reversing F.O.M.O. thoughts to positive ones we can be more satisfied in our own lives and genuinely like someone’s post when we press ‘like.’ Choose to think differently!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

“Image: Mean Girls

Undecided is Acceptable

From a young age all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was either a hair stylist or a teacher. I think most little girls go through a “teacher phase” because it seemed so cool to be smart, dress adorable and tell people what to do! Also, you would have recess as part of your work day! How cool?! Ehh…but once I saw how difficult teaching children could be as the kids got older and sometimes less sweet, more hateful this career path dwindled. But being a hair stylist was something I aspired to be even throughout high school. I vividly remember dressing up as a beautician on Career Day in the second grade wearing an apron which held combs and brushes, curlers and fake scissors (although I was skilled enough for the real thing). You might think this is weird and I would agree because who does that? The answer is me because I had to be different. I even stopped letting my mom do my hair when I was 5 because I thought I could do it better and she graciously chose to let me win that battle.

As I moved through my high school years and my nerd status continued to rise I knew college was the next step. My parents did not go to college, but have been lucky enough to have the jobs they love, and set an expectation that my brother and I would go. I still loved the thought of being a hair stylist, but the dream ended when I realized my body could not handle standing up for that long! For all the hair stylists out there your feet must be made of steel, more power to you all! But without that dream I had NO idea what I wanted to do. When you are graduating that is all people ask about, and I’m like “ha. ha. I don’t know.” So when I graduated high school the answer was I don’t know. When I moved in to college the answer was…I don’t know. Throughout my entire first year the answer was still….Idk. Even half of sophomore year …..IDK! Guys, people starting pursuing their majors their first day, I started pursuing mine about 547 days after making me feel like I should get the word “Failure” stamped to my forehead.

But I am here to tell you that is is okay! It wasn’t that I was not trying to figure it out, I was taking classes in every department (besides science, which is my enemy) & taking any personality test I could to give me some direction.  Then I found that all I needed was time. Time to explore, time to think and time to grow. “Undecided” or “Uncertainty” is not something to be ashamed of for be afraid to admit. Yes, it is scary not knowing where your life is going, but I fully believe if you are actively trying and searching then it will work out. It is not all about the end result, the destination. You can find so much fulfillment, joy and learning from the process and the journey to get there. Sometimes I think that stage of life is the most beautiful, because there is so much in the unexpected. If you ever get to a point in life like this, not just with school but with anything, take time to breathe, release the pressures you are feeling and trust.

I am now a soon to be Public Relations graduate, and I am confident that I finally chose the right major. With that said, I am starting the whole uncertainty process over again with starting a career. This time is a little different though because I know my passion, just not where I will be. So I am choosing to be thankful that I have direction and passion and trusting the rest!

“Your path will become clearer as you discover who you really are and what you are truly passionate about.”-Laura Apisakkul

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

You’re Invited

Hi guys! Maybe you stumbled on this page or are reading this out of obligation for being my friend, but no matter how you got here I’m glad you are. Throughout this blog experience my vow to you is showing honesty, starting with the fact that weirdly, my heart is racing and becoming more nervous about writing this than it has about anything in a few months. I have known for a while now that this day of openly sharing my thoughts with the world would come and even after pondering over a multitude of ideas I froze when I stared at this blank screen. To better explain possible reasons for this there are some things you should know.

I am NOT a feelings person. Like at all. I do not enjoy talking about them, expressing them or really even self-identifying them, mostly because they scare me. I love listening to others’, but if I have the choice I prefer to keep mine off limits. Now…we all have those certain friends who know how to pull emotions out of you, I call them my “deep friends,”and I am eventually thankful for connecting with my feelings on occasion. But I think this is why this process stuns me. I am now sharing thoughts and experiences to more than just my “deep friends.” For the first time ever I have the power to write about whatever I choose. It is even for a grade, and for once I truly believe my professor when he says “any topic.” Other professors sometimes say it but are secretly hinting towards one way. So I wanted to choose something I am passionate about and feel pretttyyy confident in, but not limiting this to only one thing.

So I thought about things that describe me: small-town  girl, country accent, loud, student, muscular, cheerleader, happy, loud again, friendly, short, really loud…etc. But I continued to linger on happy! Being a partial extrovert, a lot of my joy and fulfillment stems from others and in particular providing happiness for others. The deeper I thought the more it rang that this feeling of happiness is a choice. While some of this characteristic is innate, it is also  a conscious effort. One that is very important to me. So I plan to start a journey on “Choosing Joy” in the easy times and through the periods where patience is tested and hearts are broken,because I think it can sometimes be the best solution!

As of now I would not consider myself a writer, blogger or life expert of any sort and I am nervous to open myself to vulnerability, but I am hopeful this challenge will bring many rewards to both you and I! Feel free to express feedback and ask any questions. You are cordially invited on this journey, let’s begin!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

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