How to Embrace a Happy Lifestyle:

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Happiness is not a destination you can reach, it’s a lifestyle you have to live.

Once you realize that no matter what you achieve you always find yourself saying “I’ll be happy when…” you start to shift your perspective on what happiness actually is. No matter what our dreams tell us, we all know that there isn’t going to be a magic point and time where we are completely happy. The reason we hang onto this hope is because looking back at our past we can point out years when we were. Our memory tends to throw out the bad days sprinkled in our good months, and it’s a good thing, looking back we can say that that was what happiness feels like, but you need to have the perspective on those times. Even your best times had nights you cried yourself to sleep.

So, if we can’t all of a sudden make it to happiness how to we become happier? Happy is a lifestyle, and it’s not one anyone can maintain 24/7. What all does this lifestyle entail?

Happiness is hard work, especially when your life isn’t making it easy. I’ve always been amazed by loved ones who are happy while going through hell on earth. You always marvel and ask them how they are doing it. The answer you normally get is along the lines of “I just decided to be happy.”

It isn’t that easy, but it is that simple. Here are some ways to embrace the happy lifestyle:

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Passionate verses extreme: An argument

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I’ve noticed a trend across the board, we’re doing things to the extreme. We are no longer fans of things we are obsessed with them (can we talk about our celebrity problem?). We are no longer just vegans or gym rats, we are trying to convert people to our ways. We are no longer democrat or republican we are alt-whatever. We’re taking our ideals and we’re blowing them up so big that we not only can’t agree to disagree, but we’re taking the good things about our movements and completely destroying them.

When I decided to write this post I had to stop and ask myself if there was anything that should be taken to the extreme. I thought, surely you can take some good things to the extreme. I’m a christian so I wondered about my religion, but the moment I started thinking about that I started thinking about Westboro Baptist church and realized that even something good can turn into something negative if we push it to the extreme, because people always cherry pick which things to push and which messages to ignore.

You can be passionate about something without taking it to the extreme. I think that is something people forget when they push off their negative traits on passion. You can be an activist without being extreme.

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Redoing Introductions: Some things you didn’t know about me.

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I’ve gotten some new faces around here in the last two months so I thought I would do a little introduction! I have an about me page, but there is always more to the story. I feel like this blog does a very good job at capturing parts of my mind, but I feel like some details are lost in translation.

So may I start with my hobbies?

  • I love art but I’m not very good at it, so I went the less traditional route and took up photography and graphic design. I minored in photography in college and I spent all four years working for the graphic/layout department of my campus newspaper.
  • I’m a writer above all else. I mean that word in a few different ways. I love the type of writing I get to do for blog posts and articles, but I first fell in love with words when I started writing my first novel. During high school I wrote five novels, they all read like a high schooler wrote them, but everyone’s got to start somewhere. I am currently working on three manuscripts right now, one that I’m really set on trying to get published.
  • As you probably know by my publications category, I’m a big reader. I started really reading heavily in middle school after a childhood of doing everything I could not to read. Looking back at it I can see that it was the first step in becoming a writer.
  • Oh, and the horse, of course. If you’ve been here a while you know D’Artagnan’s beautiful face. I’ve been riding for over sixteen years now and owned my boy for all eight of his years here on earth. We qualified a few times for Barrel Racing World Finals but very rarely race anymore. Now we’re just training and trail riding.

Now for some more side facts. I’m a twenty-two year old single woman who is about to start looking for a job again. I graduated Guilford College in May 2016 then got sick for a year with Lyme. I’m going to be writing a blog post about my career goals soon, so keep a look out for that. In addition to the horse I have two kittens named Denim and Linen. I love animals and children. My favorite type of food is Italian and I’d happily live off pasta alone for the rest of my life. I live in North Carolina and I’m a Christian. I’m a very loud person who likes to talk an awful lot. I’ve never been one to keep secrets and I’m about as open of a book as you will find.

If there is anything else you want to know just ask! Also, I would love it if I got a little information about some of you I don’t know very well. I think one of the great things about online spaces is the community you can build.

Five Ways to Keep Your Dreams Realistic:

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I wouldn’t consider myself a planner, I hardly ever plan my days, I’m bad at scheduling, and I generally get distracted. However, when it comes to my future I have a few set dreams which are really concrete. I, in all meanings of the word, have a plan. I might not have all the steps figured out, but I’ve identified the big ones and am working my way towards it.

Sometimes when I look at this plan I wonder if I want to much, I think it’s a thought we can all relate too, whether it is in a moment of doubt or whether we actually just have blown our dreams up a little too big. I find myself going over my plan, piece by piece, to see if the overall dream might be out of reach.

I’ve had friends who had high expectations for everything and I’ve watched them get disappointed. So I decided to build a goal into my plan: keep my dreams big but realistic.

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Why self diagnosing mental disorders isn’t okay.

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I read an article recently that stated that self diagnosed mental disorders where okay because after all not everyone could afford to go to the doctors and sometimes the doctors got it wrong. I agree that both those problems are real and should be addressed, but, um, why does that make self diagnosing okay? You can know something is wrong without labeling it and you can get more than one doctors opinion. Mental health is not something that should be taken lightly and self diagnosing is dangerous.

For starters our mind is and always has been sensitive to ideas. The power of suggestion goes a long way. Ask anyone who has gone on WebMD to see why they have a sore throat. It can cause us to start imagining symptoms that we don’t have. It can make things worse than they already are. Continue reading

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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