The Dangers in Media Consumption:

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While I’ve been sick I’ve been spending a lot of time online. I’ve been checking out all corners of the internet. I’ve read deep into both sides of politics, I’ve read about science, and I’ve watched some teen YouTube stars. When you dive into each of these universes it’s a bit like falling down a rabbit hole. You get consumed by it for the few hours your online.

What we don’t think about that much is what it does to us when we log off. Certain ideas stick with us and we’re not blind to them, but what we tend to miss is the fact that our mental vocabulary changes to meet what we’ve been consuming. The ideas overcome us.

A good example of this was when I was reading extreme feminist Twitter accounts. A few days after I was in my car and this song came on and I thought “this song is really good and so emotional, how is it even written by a man?” It took me back because I couldn’t believe what I just thought. I had been reading about emotionless men and “toxic masculinity” that I accidentally started to internalize it. There is no reason for me to think of men this way. All the men I’ve been in relationships with have shown emotions to me and their masculinity never was toxic. I actually enjoy masculine traits in men. I knew men could be emotional, so why had I forgotten it? Continue reading

A Year Stolen by Lyme and Mono:

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I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been sick, but I don’t think anyone who reads this blog really understands how sick I’ve been (unless you’re one of my real life loved ones, in which case hi! Thanks for following me online and off). There were days where my muscles physically couldn’t hold the weight of my own body. I had stomach flu symptoms, cold symptoms. My joints felt like someone was drilling screws into them from bad angles. It was terrible. People always would ask me what hurt and I couldn’t find a good way to say that I just felt like I was dying. I felt like my body was shutting down one part at a time, and frankly, I was really worried that it wasn’t going to start back up again. I realize this reads as an exaggeration, but it isn’t. I’m not blowing anything out of proportion, at least, not in this blog post.

It started right around graduation (May 2016). I thought I just had bad allergies at first, then all these other symptoms started piling on. It got real bad real fast. I went to the doctors a few times. I had an ear infection. They said. Arthritis? I was being sent doctor to doctor, because nobody knew what was wrong with me. I was two months in when my dad pointed out the infected bite I had on my thigh for just as long and that it might have been a tick. I mentioned it to my horse instructor when she asked me how I was feeling. That’s when I found out that two other people at the horse farm had gotten Lyme out there. So I went back in for the test and got put on one round of antibiotics that lasted a month.

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OOTD: The Bloom Effect.

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( Top: LOFT // Skirt: Target // Shoes: Marc Jacob // Sunglasses: LOFT // Earrings: Silpada)

Yesterday was a good day that consisted of church, fresh hamburgers, a long walk in the park with a good friend, and cleaning out my dresser.

I have a fair amount of clothes, some are years old, others are new additions. I clean out my wardrobe enough that I don’t have anything in it that isn’t my style. I don’t have anything in it that I wouldn’t wear. Which is great, it’s what I’m supposed to have, but since I have failed at minimalism, sometimes I lose items in the back of the drawer and don’t wear them for an entire season. It’s not that I don’t like them it’s just I forget I own them.

I’ve figured out how to work around this when it comes to my hanging clothes (obviously not a problem here) and my t-shirts (I roll them instead of fold them), but I can’t figure out how to do it with sweaters. My drawer is deep so I can’t roll them because I’d have to double layer them which would lead to the same problem as now. Does anyone have any good advice? The seasons are changing, but next year I’d like to wear all my clothes!

Magazine of the Moment: Success

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It’s been a while since I have done a Magazine of the Moment post (you can check out the past ones here) but I felt like this was a good time to do this particular magazine.

Success Magazine is marketed towards entrepreneurs, but it’s really a great read for any professional. The magazine covers self improvement, leadership, and ways to find happiness and (wait for it) success.

I say it’s a good time to spotlight this magazine because now that I’m healthy I’m starting to look back at going into the workforce. I’m borderline well, which means it’s time to get a proper plan in place. I prefer magazines like this for inspiration than those like Inc. because I find the articles more digestible and the topics more suited for people of different walks of life. We can’t all be CEO’s.

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Ya’ll’d’ve Done it Different: How I Define the South

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I saw a post recently on Tumblr that stated only in the south would a monstrosity like ya’ll’d’ve be both used normally and considered grammatically ‘correct’. Another one I really like? All ya’ll, because ya’ll isn’t plural enough. This is a side note, which might not be the best way to start a post, but I enjoyed the humor.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on how I define the south, since it is after all part of my URL. Anna Down South was not chosen just because I love the south, but because the south is a big part of my identity. This blog was never meant to be a travel blog where I post all the southern hot spots or a place where I only talked about southern topics, it was supposed to be a lifestyle blog, and I just happened to feel like my lifestyle was southern enough for the name.

So how does one define the south?

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Agree to Disagree?

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Agreeing to disagree was something I was taught to do growing up because, as a lot of us do, I have a sibling. It’s something we teach little kids so they don’t fight and so they learn to respect others opinions. So why does it seem like most adults I meet no longer have this skill?

I noticed this a lot in college. People would talk about politics, or social issues, or what is best for mental health, and it would go from a causal conversation to people shouting out each other in about three minutes flat. Our own politicians can’t seem to debate without screaming at each other. It’s terrible. You’re not always right and neither is the person you are arguing with. But if you can’t calmly hear their side of the story then you will never be able to change their mind or get them to see things through your eyes. I hate to tell you, but telling someone they’re an idiot and wrong is never going to get them to agree with you. Maybe we should try and use the tactics we try and teach our three years olds:

Can you explain why you feel that way? I understand that but have you ever thought about…? I totally see where you’re coming from, I just think we have different ideas on how to solve it. Time for brunch?

Okay, maybe our three year olds don’t get brunch, but you can see what I mean. It’s a very civil approach and it makes sense. I get that sometimes it’s hard not to get super heated about things you’re passionate about, but if you’re trying to spread that passion you have to be able to talk about it in a convincing and polite way. If you get to heated about a topic it’s going to make you angry for the rest of the day and it’s going to make the person you’re shouting out hate your view even more. It’s not just unproductive, it’s counterproductive.

I feel like I could end the post on that, but I want to talk about how many friendships I’ve seen ruined over one or two different views. Friendship is a neat thing, you can be friends with someone and never talk about politics and still have a very healthy friendship. You can disagree on big topics, like religion, and still have a very healthy friendship. How? By agreeing to disagree. By being a grown up and understanding why they think that and why you disagree.

I’m not saying everyone is logical, and I’m not saying you can expect people to always be when you are, but I am saying that most people have reasons for their views, and most the time their reasons aren’t because they hate something. It’s because they have different views on how we should approach these topics. It’s because they don’t understand something or because we don’t understand it.

It’s really possible to step away from a intense debate with respect. It’s also possible to know when not to approach a debate at all. It’s called agreeing to disagree. If a toddler can do it then you can too!

Photo Diary: Georgia Aquarium

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Before I left for Atlanta I decided I was going to record the entire trip to a T. Well, I only did that at the aquarium, other than that it was just a few group selfies. The only reason I did at the aquarium was because everything was so jaw dropping. I’m trying to find a better balance in recording and living, because I feel like I’m bouncing between the extremes.

But as for the aquarium, it was the best one I’ve ever been to. The pure size of the whale sharks was stunning (they said their biggest was 20ft!). The┬ábeluga whale that chased it’s own air rings around the tank. The sea lion show!!! They didn’t let us take pictures during it, but guys, it was the best thing ever. Sea lions have more talent than I do.

I don’t have words, but there are some more pictures below to try and do it justice.

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