Personal Responsibility & Accountability:

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We don’t hear a lot about personal responsibility and accountability anymore, or at least, I don’t online and I didn’t on my college campus. It’s an easy thing to try and brush off, nobody wants to take full responsibility for their life. It’s so much easier to blame things on circumstances. After all, our circumstance did effect us, why shouldn’t we blame our choices on them?

The whole problem with that is despite how we were raised, what happened to us in the past, or what other people think of us, our choices are still up to us. Every decision we make we are responsible for. It’s time we start owning up to that, because by saying that we aren’t in control of the bad things we admit that we’re not in control of the good things, because whether you like it or not, it’s a two way street, and to say your not in control of anything… well, that’s a flat out lie.

We know it’s a lie because we see people conquer the same circumstances that we face regularly. We constantly hear people own up to their mistakes, their bad decisions, their regrets. We know it’s possible, but we still excuse ourselves for the same things. We freeze before going into the so grossly overused “it’s different!” defense.

We’ve been saying that for years, when are we going to realize that it’s not a good enough excuse? When are we going to pick ourselves up, when are we going to stop blaming everyone but ourselves?

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Words Matter: What have you been taking in lately?

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I saw a post recently that simply said “words matter”.

I kept scrolling because the statement seemed to obvious to bother. I’m a writer. I know words matter. What we put out into the world has a huge impact on how we are viewed. We’ve seen celebrities at their highest point fall because they say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Of course words matter.

Then there was a post right below it about what it takes to be a successful person and one thing listed was “surround yourself with people who talk about ideas not other people.”

That’s when I stopped scrolling.

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It’s June and I’m 23. Here’s to bad years closing and lessons learned.

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Happy June! My birthday was yesterday, and I am now officially twenty-three. Let’s just say that twenty-two just wasn’t what Taylor Swift made it out to be. I made a post about my year lost to lyme and mono and I meant it in the most literal way possible. I don’t feel like I was ever really twenty-two. The entire year was lost to pain and I didn’t really move from the couch. I feel like I’m behind now, because I know that if I hadn’t of gotten sick I would be so much farther ahead. I know that I’m not, there are a lot of twenty-three year old’s still trying to figure it out, I just thought by now I’d be farther along.

So when I say I want twenty-three to be a better year for me I’m not setting the bar crazy high, in fact the bar is rather low. I know life moves in phases and no matter what we think those phases aren’t marked in years or semesters. They’re random. God and the forces on this earth aren’t really working with our calendar. So, I don’t expect it to get better right away, but I hope that this age is more giving. I hope that it has a little more mercy.

That’s not to say that twenty-two didn’t come with some valuable lessons. Here is what I learned while I was too sick to get off the couch.  Continue reading

6-4-17: A Late Afternoon Photo Diary

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I realized late afternoon yesterday that I need to start carrying my giant DSLR around with me again. I’ve gotten really lazy about it because my phone has a camera like everyone else (even though it really needs an upgrade, even if just for the camera). I forget how much that giant camera makes me want to take pictures and I forget just how much there really is to take pictures of.

I’m a strong believer that we shouldn’t be recording every second of our lives, but I forget how beautiful some of those moments are. For example, yesterday afternoon after a flash storm. My yard was overcast and it seemed to be calling me out to come take pictures of it.   Continue reading

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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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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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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