21 Things I’ve Learned By 21

21 Things I’ve Learned By 21

Some of us 21 year olds are getting engaged and starting families, some of us are in college or finishing cosmetology school, some of us are working away and joining unions, but there are three things we have in common: we are three years into adulthood, we are legal to consume alcoholic beverages, and we don’t really have it all figured out yet. However, I’ve journaled down thoughts that I’ve learned over the years and I think they may serve as nice reminders for you all. So here are the 21 things I’ve learned by 21:

  1. You’re young— know the difference between being selfish and valuing yourself. It’s okay to put yourself first, your future depends on it.

  2. When you’re upset, mad, or frustrated with someone, don’t start texting them a million things that you’ll later regret. Take a breather, and call them and meet up with them later. Texting solves absolutely nothing.

  3. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others is not an easy task, but it’ll set you free and allow you to move forward with your life.

  4. Quality over quantity, especially when it comes to friends; valuing close, genuine friends is so much more important than being surrounded by the masses.

  5. Your greatest power is being you, embrace that with everything you have.

  6. No matter how old you get, you have to follow the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated because being kind and loving doesn’t cost you a thing.

  7. Make decisions that excite you, don’t make decisions based on what someone else wants you to do. You’ll end up, going in circles.

  8. When you put in the extra mile, it always pays off. The effort will serve as guidance for what the next move should be for you.

  9. There are spiteful people in this world, that are venomous with their words, but those people don’t deserve a place in your universe.

  10. Although there are hurtful people out there, there are also absolutely incredible ones who bring so much light and love into your life.

  11. With that being said, you never regret telling people you love them, value them, and appreciate their existence. Whenever you get the chance to engulf others in your admiration, do it.

  12. Enjoying your own company better be on your to-do list because people come and go, but you’re a constant and when the day turns into night, your mind must be kind to you.

  13. You don’t have to be who you’ve always been; there is room for change and growth and realizations to become who you are meant to be.

  14. You aren’t going to be liked by everyone, you’ll be too much for some and not enough for others. That discernment has nothing to do with you, and entirely to do with the person making those judgements.

  15. You DO NOT need a significant other to be whole. You DO NOT need a boyfriend. You DO NOT need someone to tell you you’re pretty, valued, and worthy; you should know you’re all those things without relying on those words of truths from someone else. You are complete, whole, and enough on your own.

  16. Taking the opportunity that fuels your curiosity and excitement is one well taken. Whether that’s moving, taking an internship, exploring a new country, you will find out new things about yourself along the way.

  17. Holding onto rage and anger hurts you more than anyone else; let that baggage go and know you don’t have to be bitter.

  18. Your circumstances do not and will not define you; you are not a statistic, you are a person and you can beat the odds.

  19. Sex can wait, but it doesn’t have to; whatever you prefer is right. Whether you’re in love or looking for a fun time, you must remember to be kind to your body and soul and make sure to value yourself and your sexuality. You don’t have to give yourself away to anyone who asks.

  20. Let life take you where it wants you to go, you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be.

  21. As cliche as it sounds, really don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. You are an important and have a valuable mind that is unique, so know you have the ability to stand out and achieve all your wildest dreams. You will fail, oh you will fail plenty, but you just have to keep getting back up and try again.

So if you take anything away from my lengthy list, it’s that you are important, loved, and valued, and you should live your life with your urgency and drive.

A Key To A Happier You: Forgiveness

A Key To A Happier You: Forgiveness

This past week I was in Chicago for the holidays and somehow, Chicago has a way of inspiring me to produce my best work. So here are some of my recent thoughts on forgiveness and self-love.

The city evokes my curiosity, the wonderment of the unknown, uncertainty, and largeness of the masses. As I grow older and have new experiences under my belt, I begin to wonder, could I find sanctuary in the chaos? I don’t say home because home, for me, is more of feeling and less of a residency— home never quite felt like home and love from just family never felt quite whole, so I searched for a substitute for what I lacked my whole life.

I came up empty, filled with resentment, anger, and even jealousy to those who had what I did not.

Now, my heart understands and my mind is on the same page— disappointment runs in my veins because I create these expectations in my head about how people should be, act, and care for me when the reality is, most things don’t revolve around me and their inconsiderate manner is just part of their universe.

I can’t change them, especially when my resentment covers me like a silent plaque, until I am no longer accepting their existence. I go ghost into my own world, uninviting and shrill to their ideology, because no matter how they cling to me, I act as though it’s never enough, and that is entirely on me. My skin screams to be touched, to be hugged, and to be loved, but their presence only lingers in the back of the room, refusing to put forth effort I desperately crave.

For a long time, this one undeniable thought laid prominent in the center of my mind through all my acts, “I’ll never be enough for you.”

But through the years, it’s not that I am not enough for them, but actually the opposite begins to ring true. That I know, and how is that fair for me to be so judgmental and act as though I am superior? When I am not, nobody in this world is.

So I chase it back to the source—

I take a look at who I am and what my needs are, and focus on some of my truths.

I would never be happy in a small town with small minds and small endeavors with the social norm being to marry young and have babies to carry on the name to raise up to be football jocks and record breaking stars. I would never be happy to work for someone day in and day out with little growth, no new knowledge, no experience that leaves me feeling fulfilled and enlightened. I would never be happy, if I chose to stay instead of leaving for my next adventure, but with choices comes opportunity costs and trade offs.

In order to take on a new adventure, I had to say goodbye to the only house I ever knew, goodbye to the closeness of my father, goodbye to my best friends who have been by my side almost every hour of every day.

I had to embrace the loneliness of the newness in hopes of finding what my soul needed most; Fear lingered, but I never allowed it to make me back down. See, I have no problem engulfing myself in new passions and desires, but when I try to free my heart of the restraints of sadness I’ve endured, I refuse.

I refuse to start new with the ones I love most— I refuse to truly forgive and let down my walls I’ve built up to keep them out, but that’s the start of my journey to self-love.

In order to love myself, I must be free from my burdens, relinquish any hate festering in my soul, any and all unsettlements to my soul and I’m starting with taking responsibility for my soul actions and acknowledging my imperfections, bruises, and lackings in a vulnerable way to heal and repair what I view as broken.

Who I am— is what my soul exudes. I have the choice to be a better, more loving version of myself, who honors effort and has faith in mankind, who understands most people are just doing the best they can. People love differently, handle stress differently, communicate differently— not wrong, just because it’s different than what I choose to do. I’m aware that love needs to be at the center of all interactions, and people deserve second, even third and fourth chances, without having burdens held over their head.

Forgiveness for yourself, forgiveness for others will be the one thing that will restore your faith in unconditional love.

I’ve linked one of my favorite articles below, so check that out!

Forgive… And Feel Happier

You’ve got this,

Ash

 

 

 

Maddie Ruth’s “If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is”

Maddie Ruth’s “If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is”

This is the start of something really special; Maddie’s story is the first one I get to share on my blog for Empowering Women and I can’t thank her enough for being real, vulnerable, and open with you all to share her experience, insight, and advice. To read more posts from Maddie, her blog is https://withlovexom.blogspot.com!!!

It has been eight months since I made the best decision of my life.

I wanted to be in love with myself. With who I had in my life at the time, there was no way that would ever happen. I had to delete the negative to be able to receive that positive I was searching for.

So there I was, I was in love.

Love is great.
Love is strange.
Love is also blinding and my first love blinded me.

He turned me into someone that I never want to know again. I am going to share with you my story about how the man of my dreams made me realize that just because it is a ‘dream come true’ does not mean it suppose to be a forever type of love.

Why am I sharing this?

I never want someone to feel the type of pain I felt.

You know when you like someone and you want them in your life, you start to look past all the red flags. You just shrug them off and think ‘he really loves me so it’s okay.’ and begin to justify their actions.Well, it is actually not okay.

When I was a small child, my cousin sexually abused me. He was much older than me; the memories of this caused me so much pain, anxiety, depression and fear in my life. The problem about being a fighter (I use this word instead of victim because I am not weak) after sexual abuse is that you carry that weight on your shoulders for the rest of your life. Of course, you find ways to cope, but those memories never go away. You just learn how to make them hurt less with time. Which is a bunch of shit, if you ask me.

Now fast forward to where I was about a year and a half ago.

After finally coming out about my childhood nightmare, all I ever wanted was to feel loved. I’m not talking about the kind of love you have with your family because I had that— I love my parents more than anything. I wanted the love where you feel craved and desired. I wanted a love that would make me feel good about myself.

Then, there he was— blonde hair and blue eyed, standing there looking so good I wanted to eat him. It didn’t take long because a week later, we were dating.

That should have been the first red flag.

Who dates after only knowing each other for a week? I am sure people do, but I knew nothing about him. He came off timid and sweet and I was head over heels. I will tell you I had the best first eight months of my life with this kid. He was a dream.

A dream. That is all he ever was. We were long distance so I only saw the part of him that he wanted me to see. I will never forget the day he said to me “What if I change and you no longer like who I am.” Months later he did change, and not in a good way; I guess he was trying to warn me.

This relationship wasn’t all that bad. I learned a lot, I learned enough that I am going to share with you what I learned to help you. (You can thank me later).

He puts down his mother?

It doesn’t matter the circumstance…RUN. If he doesn’t respect the woman who gave him life then he will never respect you.

“All women just want the money”

If he says that and he breaks your heart just remember I warned you.

He tells you, “You’re so stupid”

First of all, throw the heaviest object at him that you can find at the moment and then end things immediately.

“You’re so clingy”

If you just want to cuddle tell him goodbye, if you want his location, boss’s phone number, social security number, and a phone call every hour you for sure need to chill.

“We can only talk on this day, and at this time”

LOL…True story I was blinded enough to deal with this. If this happens to you I want to remind you that no matter what he looks like undressed this type of personality should immediate turn you off.

He tries to change you

I have never understood that when people try to change the person that they are dating. I mean your personality from the start is what drew them to you, why suddenly is that no longer doable for them? If your S/O tries this, laugh and tell him to screw off.

Complains about money

I’m sorry?

Compares you to an ex

HA HA HA HA HA HA girl you can do better than him anyways

Doesn’t support you

This was my major problem in my last relationship. Support is everything if you are killing it and he is unable to recognize that I am making this clear to you that you can find better. There is someone out there looking to give you the recognition and support you deserve for all of the bomb s*** you do.

Remember your happiness comes first
I was always so afraid to upset my ex. I would get so worked up over nothing and that was not fair. Your health and happiness should always come first because happiness comes from with in. You can’t rely on someone else for your happiness.

He may try to hit you with the ‘let’s be friends’ line and honestly if you two couldn’t connect in an intimate relationship, a friendship might be hard to create after a break up.

Overall, what I want you to get out of reading this is that you have the power to be a self-motivated, independent, happy woman. I can’t tell you what to be, where to be or who to be, but I can tell you that if your man does most of these 10 things you can do better. I don’t believe men do it unintentionally sometimes it just happens out of anyone’s control. How you can control it is stick up for yourself.

If you see something you don’t like say something don’t be passive.
GIRLS ARE SO PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE.
I know I am and I am working to be more honest, straightforward and confident. Never let a man dull your shine girl, we all have had that one major heart break and I am telling you that you will survive.

Be you, know your worth and the right person will come along. You don’t need to put up with a guy just because you feel as though you can’t live without him.

With lots of love,
M

Loving The JORD Wood Watches

Loving The JORD Wood Watches

This is a sponsored partnership with JORD, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that Thoughtful Blonde loves.

Wooden Wristwatch

Having a watch that matches your style and compliments all the other jewelry you love to wear is vital, so when I came across JORD watches, I was hooked. Browsing the website and the Instagram, my biggest struggle was picking my favorite one; after a long-hard look, I decided on the Cora Series, Koa & Rose Gold. When my wood watch came in the mail, I was so excited and it was already sized perfectly to fit, so I didn’t have worry about messing around with the links. It made my life even easier, and now I’m obsessed with my new arm candy.

I’ve always liked the look of wood watches on others, whether that was in person or scrolling through my Instagram feed. I wear the same jewelry everyday, and I like to keep it rather simple so, you’ll always see a Pandora bracelet and a JORD watch on me 95% of the time. It goes with everything and anything, from casual wear to business attire, and that’s why I wear when rocking out to concerts or shopping down in Naples.

JORD is having their largest Holiday Campaign and you are able to claim an instant gift code by following this link: and select what watch series and model are your favorite! You should spend some time browsing their website and finding the perfect match for you. It also makes the perfect gift, for your mom, best friend, your BIG, your LITTLE, your roommate, your boyfriend’s mom. I am putting together a holiday gift guide (so stay tuned right before thanksgiving that will publish) and you can bet I’m including JORD wood watches in it!

For a Black Friday SALE, follow this link– https://woodwatches.com/black-friday/thoughtfulblonde to save on my watch that I linked right below!

Shop my watch: https://www.jordwatches.com/series/cora/koa-and-rose-gold/… or shop directly on their site: https://www.woodwatches.com/#thoughtfulblonde because we all know Christmas is right around the corner, and watches from JORD make the perfect gift.

I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Some Inspiration When Applying for Internships and Jobs

Some Inspiration When Applying for Internships and Jobs

Is there a science to getting your dream job or internship? The answer is sadly NO, and life would be too easy if that were the case. I read articles on Linedkin and blogs from business professionals, who do the hiring and what they look for, (one of my favorites is: Intern Queen )which is extremely helpful, but sometimes, all I can think is, ‘I’m applying online, with a resume I have spent two years revising, updating, and altering and get to answer a few mediocre questions about different things I’ve accomplished or done in my collegiate years, but my accomplishments and job history don’t exactly signify who I am, my level of dedication, or others qualities that may pull me ahead of all the competition.’

Well, I am here to say, don’t get discouraged and aim small.

You are going to get a lot of NO’s,

I’ve had my fair share of emails that say, “Thank you for your interest, but unfortunately……” Plenty, and I continuously do, but here’s the thing: I am shooting my shot, and applying for things that interest me, and I could see myself benefiting from, and as cliche as it sounds, every no is one step closer to that YES.

When applying for jobs and internships, you can’t forget that you want a position that is a good fit for you, too.

Not only do you want to be an asset for a company, but you also want to be in a spot to obtain new knowledge, grow, and benefit from your time there. It needs to be mutually beneficial, so don’t sell yourself short and take a job that doesn’t feel right for you.

Although my intentions are to work for myself when I graduate, I don’t have all the information necessary, just from my marketing 101, intermediate price theory class, etc.

I need to have real life experience— where I can figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are, so I can become well-rounded, and a generalist, with some wonderful specializations to be competitive and insightful.

I look at myself as a brand, and I continuously ask myself, “What do I bring to the table?” You find that out at internships, it’s great.

About a year ago, I took an internship with the Boston Red Sox and 47’ Brand, and I was honest, genuine, and real throughout the interview process, and luckily, it was one of my favorite YESes to date. My boss took me under her wing, and in the process of being a merchandising intern, I learned everything from buying, processing, inventory, accountability, time management, handling money, and visuals. I lived in the moment with this internship, taking it all in and aware that I did not know it all, and wanted to learn all there was. One internship turned into the next and I spent the summer in Boston, seeing the large scaled operations, and loved it. I added to my resume and skillset, and again this spring, I will be working for them.

With that little short account of my internships, I want to say it’s important to trust your gut and do what you think will add value to your life and skillset. I had never expected to do something in merchandising, but things work out exactly the way it’s meant to. So you too will have a company take a chance on you, and that’s where you need to shine.

So in the process of finding who you are and what you want, keep advising that resume, taking leadership roles on campus, raising that GPA, and applying for things that seem to be out of your league because it will all pay off soon enough.

You’ve got this, and you will get there soon!

xo,

Thoughtful Blonde

Being a GirlBoss with HBO

Being a GirlBoss with HBO

This is a sponsored partnership with HBO and Her Campus. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Thoughtful Blonde possible!

Whenever my mom calls me, she doesn’t even try to guess where I am anymore because I am everywhere and anywhere, between meetings, clubs, school, events, volunteering, and working.

Lately, life has been extremely crazy and filled from sun up to sun down, but I’m sure you can relate. I just finished curating my spring schedule for school, creating a budget for my organization, pitching an idea with a program I’m involved in, interviewing for summer internships, attending classes, taking exams, and the list could go on all day.

While I have a mini-rant about all the things I have to achieve that are diligently written down in my overflowing planner, I remind myself– I need to make time for things I enjoy and escape from the craziness so I don’t get buried down in all business, and no play. Sometimes, my brain is moving so fast and I’m suppose to be in more than one place at a time, as if that were actually possible. Wouldn’t that be nice?

However, no matter how busy I get, I have a constant escape— HBO Go and HBO NOW

Of course I have certain shows I refuse to miss like Game of Thrones and Ballers when they air, but sometimes, life gets in the way and I’m forced to avoid social media until I get on the HBO Go App or go to https://play.hbogo.com and watch the episodes I missed. Every season, every episode is patiently waiting for me to watch on my own time, which is perfect, when I don’t have a consistent schedule. Who says you can’t balance it all? Let’s just leave out the social life aspect though because I value curling up in my bed, in sweatpants to catch up on my shows more than going out and being social, more often than not.

 

So, I downloaded the HBO Go App on my phone and that has made life so much more enjoyable during the little bit of extra time I do have. Whether it’s downtime between classes or meetings or waiting on my friend who is always 30 minutes late, I just catch up on some of my favorite series or explore some of the new HBO movie options. So the downtime is fine because it’s easily filled with exciting new love connections and plot twists from HBO Go and HBO Now.

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ALSO, a really great charity event and giveaway HBO does is “Night of Too Many.”  HBO will be giving away 2 tickets to A Night of Too Many Stars in NYC (with hotel and airfare covered). On Nov.18th at 8pm (ET), HBO will be airing NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS: UNITES FOR AUTISM PROGRAMS. With an estimated 1 in 68 children currently affected by autism, this was created to support autism schools, programs, and services and they’ve raised over 24$ million to date. So in order to be entered into this giveaway, post a picture of something you have “Too Many of” with the hashtags #NightsofTooManyStars & #Contest because you already know you have too many shoes, too many makeup pallettes, and one too many homework assignments.

For giveaway rules: http://notmscontestrules.dja.com/

For more info: INFO or http://itsh.bo/NOTMSTickets

To view the trailer for this awesome event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl3JqKXO_OU

No purchase necessary. Ends 11/8. Open to residents if the 48 contiguous US and D.C., 18+

So check out my entry for this #contest #TooManyOf #NightsofTooMany

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I totally have too many books– maybe you can call me a hoarder or an excellent collector, but books are the one thing I have #TooManyOf so show HBO what you have #TooManyOf and good luck! You’ll see this on my IG: Thoughtful Blonde

 

 

5 Ways To De-stress From Your Chaotic Life

5 Ways To De-stress From Your Chaotic Life

 

Creating a balance isn’t always ideal— especially when work or school or family life is overwhelming and prominent. We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control our stress levels with some life hacks to put some ease back into our normal, filled day. Being a college student, who works and has a full class load with extracurriculars, I don’t have an overabundance of time for some R&R, so here are some of the tricks I use to destress whenever I’m about to lose my marbles.

 

  1. About a year ago, I started to try something new whenever I had a rough day or needed a pick-me-up and that was Meditation, eventually it just became part of my everyday routine. It leaves me feeling at peace and uplifted, no matter my situation. To get a great meditation app, download the Deepak and Oprah 21-Day Meditation Experience or if you are in Fort Myers/Naples area, there are Drop-In Meditation classes  but once you make this part of your everyday, the “big” stressers don’t seem so big and bad.
  2.  Yoga. Hear me out, yoga is by no means easy, but you don’t have to be good, flexible, or athletic to enjoy it. I started going to yoga on Fort Myers Beach, and loved the environment and relaxation I got from it. So even though I can’t make to the beach every Saturday morning for yoga, I find time to do it at home with my yoga mat from T.J.Maxx.  Some great apps I use are– Yoga Studio and Daily Yoga and also if you want more information on the best Yoga apps, Healthline is a great resource.
  3. Making time to focus on your health and being active is so important. When I work out, everything else is put on hold and I get to focus on me and where I’m at. If you don’t have time for a gym, download The Handstand App for fitness plans and workouts. If you can join a gym, I go to LA Fitness and really enjoy the equipment and classes, and I’m also a fan of Crunch Gym. However, I do want to start going to my University’s gym FGCU more to workout, so see if your school has one so you can swing by after studying or class!
  4. Cooking isn’t always my speciality, but it’s something I’m working on. I’m always finding recipes I want to make and I get most inspired from foodie blogs. Anyways, as basic as it sounds, I google yummy food that is also healthy and started making some of those: Healthy Yummy Food and one of my favorite Food Blogger’s site called Daily Dose of Pepper   or you can be like me, and like to bake. In that case, I love Baking with Blondie  and anything chocolate, so of course, here’s some delicious recipes to take your mind off of anything else: Chocolate Heaven
  5. Lastly, when I’m stressed or having a less than fabulous day, I try to find some distraction. Something that isn’t work or tedious or overwhelming, so what’s better than online shopping….. not much. I like to keep a budget, so I don’t recommend doing this everyday, but here are some of my favorites to bring you a little bit of happiness. For jewelry: Gem and Company For clothing: Thirty One Boutique and Henri Girl.

Let’s continue to be GirlBosses, who find peace in the midsts of all the chaos. You’ve got this and you are capable!

xo, Ash