End of the Month Check-in | July 2020

Happy Friday guys! I originally wasn’t planning on posting today but I woke up with the urge to write, so here I am!

Something that I’ve been wanting to incorporate into my posting schedule is a monthly check-in. These will be very similar to my life audits, which I will be writing an instructional post on soon. In these check-ins, I’ll do a quick reflection of the last month and plan for the following month. I give myself ten minutes to complete the reflection so I’m not overthinking or overanalyzing things.

So let’s do July’s check-in to start things out!

I feel…

pretty good about how this month has gone for the most part. I think a lot of the decisions I made this month were in the best interests of myself and those around me.

I need…

to stop being so hard on myself. This month I noticed I was comparing myself to others a lot and getting down on myself. I need to pick myself up and dust myself up in August.

I forgive…

myself for being so mean to myself this month. These things happen. But just because I forgive myself doesn’t mean I’ll let it continue.

I celebrate…

getting a new laptop! I was without a functioning laptop for the entire month of July and I was really struggling. I used an old one from high school and honey, that poor thing has been seen better days. It feels good to be using a computer that doesn’t shut off on its own or delete my projects!

I release…

any bad energy I have stored deep inside me. That shit needs to go.

I trust…

myself to make the right decisions for myself, no matter how hard they may be. I also trust myself to think about the long/short term outcomes of my actions.

I hope…

to have a successful and productive August.

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I’m Back!

Ah, it feels so good to be back!

My laptop decided it wasn’t having it anymore and died on me almost two months ago while I was writing a new post, ironically enough. It’s been in the hands of a trusty tech wizard for a few weeks now and is expected to make a full recovery (fingers crossed). But I’ve been dying to post so I’ve finally caved and decided to use an old janky laptop that really shouldn’t even qualify as one anymore. Then again, what are the qualifications to be a laptop?

Anyway, there’s so much going on in life that I wished I could’ve written about in real time. But I guess over the next few weeks we’ll play catch up together, won’t we? I have so much to share! Even with staying home and social distancing, my life has taken so many crazy (and exciting) turns lately!

I’m just so happy to be back and making new content! During my unexpected vacation, I had been on working on a new style for my blog that would be much more of my style and I’m so so excited to make these changes! I think they’ll make things much more fresh and interesting!

Give me a little time to get back into the swing of things and it’ll be smooth sailing from then on!

Thanks so much for sticking around and reaching out when I disappeared! You guys are so awesome!

Meg

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4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

Hi guys! I hope everyone is doing well! I haven’t been posting in a while because my laptop took a dump on me (just my luck), but I couldn’t go without recognizing the four year anniversary of MegannLouise.com!

It’s insane to think that the support and encouragement of my best friend to share my writing led to one of my proudest accomplishments thus far. Sure, I took a few “vacations” here and there, but the passion I have for writing has never left.
In these last 4 years, I’ve documented so much of my life on my blog… falling in love, falling out of love, moving into my first apartment, going to a new school, and so much more. I like to call my blog my public diary.


I have to admit that I was considering ending my blogging journey recently. I found myself in a rut creatively and couldn’t find any joy in what I was producing. I have to thank my awesome friend for saying something he may have forgotten about but I never will- “I don’t want to live in a world where you gave up on something you are so damn fucking good at. The world deserves it.” Honestly, if it wasn’t for that encouragement, I 100% believe I would have thrown in the towel.


I’m so grateful for all of the love and support I’ve gotten from my friends, family, and readers. If you’ve ever backed me while I’ve explored my writing, I promise you it didn’t go unnoticed.
Right now I am still dealing with tech issues that are preventing me from posting new content, but I promise that when everything is up and working again, there will be plenty of fun FRESH material up for you guys!


Thank you so much for giving me a chance and keeping up with all the craziness I’ve been up to in the last four years! Here’s to four more! 

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Reviewing Shows I’m Watching in Quarantine

Being stuck at home has been challenging. Everyday has been harder and harder to keep busy. Especially now that school is wrapped up for the semester, I’m finding it difficult to find things to do. I’ll be honest- I’ve been spending most of my free time watching Netflix and Prime shows.

While I’ve finished some of the single-season shows, there are others that I’m still working on. If you’re looking for new shows to watch while you’re isolating at home, keep reading!

1. Upload on Amazon Prime

★★★★★

IMDb Summary: A man is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death.

This show has me hooked. I’ve loved Robbie Amell since the True Jackson V.P. days, so that was enough to get me watching. It’s set in 2033, so the not-so-distant future. I was fully committed to each episode, which is rare. I’m usually scrolling through my phone while watching tv, but I couldn’t have cared less about my phone when watching. My sister and I watched all ten episodes in less than 24 hours, and when I say the last episode leaves you needing more, I’m not kidding. I LOVE this show!

2. Never Have I Ever on Netflix

★★★★☆

IMDb Summary: The complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl, inspired by Mindy Kaling’s own childhood.

Being 21, I felt a little out of the age demographic watching this, but I quickly fell in love with this show regardless. It really emphasized diversity, which I found to be so cool. I loved seeing different cultural and religious practices being shown without heavy stereotyping. There were definitely a few points in the show that had me thinking “I know I’m too old to relate to a high schooler, but is this really how they act?” I actually told my mom at one point when we were watching (yes, I got her involved) that it seemed like a 40 year old man wrote some of the jokes. But overall, I really liked the storyline and all the different plot points of the series!

3. Too Hot to Handle on Netflix

★★★☆☆

IMDb Summary: On the shores of paradise, gorgeous singles meet and mingle. But there’s a twist. To win a $100,000 grand prize, they’ll have to give up sex.

Ok I promise you I didn’t think I’d get sucked in so easily. It’s easily comparable to Love Island in the sense that they’re all living together in a nice beach house on an island and looking for love, but there’s one catch that isn’t quite the same- no sex. The premise of the show sounds so mind numbingly stupid, but I promise it’s such a great show to watch when you don’t want to use too much brain power. I mean, they look at their own v-jays in the mirror and rub mud on each other. It’s pretty dumbed down. All the great looking people had me a little self conscious for a while, but the show had me constantly wondering what would happen next so I stuck around. The only thing I didn’t like was that the show often ended in weird places. If the whole series hadn’t been uploaded all at once, I would be so mad having to wait for the next episode.

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How I’m Staying Busy During Isolation

In a time like this, it’s easy to lose sight of all the positivity around us. So many of us are worried about the pandemic (myself included) and it’s hard to take our eyes off of the news. But for my own sanity, I’ve kept myself busy everyday.

If you follow me on Instagram, you can keep up with everything I’m doing while in isolation. I’ve even created a highlight appropriately named “Stay Home” that shows you all the things I’ve been doing to keep busy.

Like I’ve said in previous posts, I’m back at my family home. That means I have a back yard again! I spent a day with my sister cleaning up the backyard by raking up leaves, picking up sticks, and cutting dead branches off trees. We’ve been talking about breaking out my projector and watching a movie outside once the weather is nicer.

Before things got too bad where I’m living, I went out and bought some coloring books. I know it’s sort of juvenile, but coloring is really calming and out of all the times I’ve needed to relax, I think now tops them. I got markers and colored pencils at first, then at a later trip I discovered watercolor pencils (WHAT?!). They’re super cool and really entertaining to mess around with. All you have to do is dip the tip into some water and color just like a normal colored pencil.

I also love cleaning my room! When I moved out of my family house, I was too busy making sure I had everything to clean up my old space. I wish you guys could have seen how much stuff was thrown around my room. I have a closet filled with shoes that may or may not even be in pairs, storage bins filled with old junk I probably haven’t even touched since my senior year of high school (3 years ago), and jewelry I’ll literally never wear balled up on my dresser. Because things are so hectic and scary right now, I can’t get out to donate anything just yet, but I know that once things have simmered down I’ll have a lot to get rid of.

Every day has been an adjustment for us at the house. Being in a small town where the entertainment typically comes from late night trips to Walmart has been hard. I haven’t been in a store in maybe three weeks, only going when my grandparents or parents need something.

My sister and I took a quick trip to our apartment the other day to grab a few more of our things. At this point, we’re pretty much moved back home. We keep grabbing more things and bringing them home just to have. We’re not sure when we’ll be back at the apartment full time though. We’ve been told by some locals that things aren’t looking too great there.

Like always, I hope you and yours are staying safe.

Can’t wait for things to go back to “normal.”

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Coronavirus

Wherever you are, I hope you are staying safe, washing your hands (which you should have been doing regardless), and being mindful of others.

I’m currently spending week one of spring break at home with my family. We’ve been watching all the latest updates on COVID-19 and preparing for what may come. Are we bulk-buying toilet paper? No, but we are making sure we have what we need before it’s all picked over by the impulsive panic-buyers.

My university, like I said before, is on spring break this week. However, they have extended spring break another week and planned for online classes to begin the following week amidst positive coronavirus tests in our county as well as surrounding counties. While other universities have closed their doors for the semester, ours is planning to return to regular in-person lectures April 10th.

In the meantime, I ask everyone to practice good hygiene (I can’t believe I’m asking this) and be mindful of precautions established by the Center for Disease Control. You don’t need 50 rolls of Angel Soft or 20 boxes of Mac and Cheese… at least I didn’t see that on their website!

Also, for those who are not in the “risk group” for the virus, please keep in mind that while it may appear to be a simple cold that you will get over, you can easily pass it on to someone who cannot recover as easily, if at all.

Please stay home if you are sick.

To learn more information on COVID-19, click here to visit the CDC website. 

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Books I NEED To Read

I’ve never really had the time (or interest) to read. I used to love reading, but as I grew older, I felt a shift where I almost never picked up a book unless I absolutely had to… and even that was rare. But I recently decided that I want to change that.

I took my biweekly trip to Target with my sister the other day. It was one of the first times in a while that I wasn’t being rushed, so I thought I’d stop at the book section. I found myself drowning in so many options. My sister was not getting me out of the aisle no matter how hard she tried.

Unfortunately, groceries were top priority, so I could only get one book that trip. After ten minutes of going back and forth, I finally chose Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley. It’s a beautiful book so far. It’s all about overcoming pressure and getting past whatever is holding you back. I really needed to read it right now. Perfect book, perfect timing.

But, like I said, there were a ton of books that I wanted to read. I was sure to jot down all the titles and authors so I could remember them all and start checking them off a list. I even looked online for even more books I may want to read.

 

The Little Book of Otter Philosophy by Jennifer McCartney

The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton

The Art of Breaking Up by hitRECord

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common

10% Happier by Dan Harris

The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

Make Sh*t Happen by Alex Martin

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I Learned My Enneagram Type and It’s Wicked Accurate

In the past week, I’ve made several discoveries.

  1. I like the smell of cactus flower and coconut.
  2. I operate terribly when I pull all nighters.
  3. I am a enneagram type four.

I never really got into enneagrams and all that jazz because for the longest time, it confused me. I didn’t really understand what it meant or where it came from. But I finally caved and did a little research.

For those who don’t know, an enneagram is “a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people conceptualize the world and manage their emotions,” according to Truity.com.

To determine my enneagram number, I took this quiz. It was short and FREE!

I ended up being a type four. What does this mean? Is it accurate?

Type Four is known as the individualist. This person is “self-aware, sensitive, and reserved,” according to the Enneagram Institute. I think I’d have to go ahead and agree with this one. Anyone who knows me knows that especially in new environments I am very reserved and try to stay pretty self-aware.

“While it is true that Fours often feel different from others, they do not really want to be alone. They may feel socially awkward or self-conscious, but they deeply wish to connect with people who understand them and their feelings. The “romantics” of the Enneagram, they long for someone to come into their lives and appreciate the secret self that they have privately nurtured and hidden from the world.”

Ok, that hit me like a truck. I can’t agree with this anymore. I love having time to myself, but I don’t like being alone/lonely at the end of the day. Wanting someone to appreciate my “secret self” is my ultimate dream, and in recent months, I’ve found myself worrying that I’m too different for someone to appreciate me in that way… which is another characteristic of a type four. Wild, right?

Addictions include, “Over-indulgence in rich foods, sweets, alcohol to alter mood, to socialize, and for emotional consolation. Lack of physical activity. Bulimia. Depression. Tobacco, prescription drugs, or heroin for social anxiety. Cosmetic surgery to erase rejected features.”

 I could really go in and tell you how accurate this is, but I’ll just touch on a few areas. Ok, so the first part- sweets. I have a decent sized candy jar in my room that is stocked up at all times. So you tell me.

Alcohol? I’ll be honest… I’ve indulged a few times as a coping mechanism. Not something I’m proud of, but it’s something that’s real accurate. There was a time where I fell off and found myself reaching for the bottle regularly. I cleaned up nice, though.

Finally, cosmetic surgery. I’ve said so many times that I want to get my nose straightened and smoothed out on the bridge. It has a really weird flat top and itty bitty bump that I’m not a fan of. I’ve also talked about getting lip filler because my bottom lip is the size of at least three of my top lip and it looks insane.

Finding out what my enneagram type is was really exciting. It really helped me see my life in a whole new light. Reading certain traits made me feel a lot better about the direction I am heading in and the way I behave in certain situations.

I highly encourage you to take the quiz and learn what type you are!

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How to Ace Online College Classes

Online classes are a blessing and a curse for the busy student.

It took me a while to get the hang of taking online classes. At first I thought it was going to be super easy because I could log in whenever I had free time, but I think we can all agree it isn’t that easy. Being able to work at my own pace was super beneficial for me but then I started procrastinating like no other.

1. Manage your time well.

This goes without saying but I’m saying it anyway. It’s pretty much a golden rule for college. Online classes require a lot of dedication because unlike in-person classes, you don’t have a specific time to take the class. You have to make the time for it yourself and stay disciplined.

2. Take notes.

A lot of students like to breeze through the lessons and not pay attention because, well, who needs to when you can use the book for everything?! Taking notes helps you make sense of what you’re learning, and it’s saved my butt quite a bit with my online classes.

3. Spread out your lessons.

I’m guilty of having the mindset that if I cram a bunch of weeks worth of lessons into the couple hours of free time I have, I can finish the class sooner and have one less thing to worry about. What I don’t take into account is the fact that I’m paying good money for these classes and need to actually retain the information. So take this tip from someone who makes this mistake always. As long as you’re meeting deadlines, take your time to learn the material!

4. E-mail your professor

This one might seem a little odd, but hear me out. In in-person classes, you may not realize it but just by being there, you’re already building some sort of relationship with your instructor. They’re seeing the effort you’re putting in (or not putting in) and associate that to your capabilities in a work setting. Use emails as a way to introduce yourself to your online professors so they, too, know who you are and what you’re like as a student. I mean, recommendation letters don’t write themselves!

Those are my tips on how to ace your online classes! I know there’s so many other ways you can achieve that A, but this is what works for me. If you have other tips, let me know!

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Here’s What Will Happen When You Fall in Love with Someone Who Can’t Love You

Short answer? It hurts like hell.

Long answer?

Things won’t feel right for a while. It’ll feel like you’re going through the motions. You’ll be checking your phone to see that they haven’t called or texted you. You’ll feel like you’re missing something in your day.

You’ll catch yourself thinking about them when you shouldn’t be. Any little thing will remind you of them- the shirt you wore that one time when they came over, the spot on the ceiling you looked at while they held you in their arms, the balled-up gum wrapper sitting on your bedside table. Everything becomes a trigger of a memory. You’ll know that you can’t keep thinking about them, but it’s out of your control.

You’ll wish you could talk to them. Maybe you can. Maybe they’ve said you can text them any time, but you know deep down that they said that just to be polite. Communicating is not something they really care about. If they did, they would’ve been honest with you from the start.

You’ll keep the photos for a while. Probably because you don’t want to let go. Or maybe because you’ve started to feel better but seeing their face washes away the flood gates and you feel all the feelings again. Their face will live in your phone until the feelings are such a distant memory that you forget they’re even there.

You’ll catch yourself falling even more. You know it won’t work, but that won’t stop you from thinking about how happy you two would be if. 

You’ll sleep more. Being awake leads to overthinking. Any time you open your eyes, you’ll shut them again and force yourself to go back to sleep. You won’t want to be awake. You may even feel a pain in your stomach when you think about taking on the day.

You’ll look at things differently. That quote from some philosopher whose name you can’t pronounce might start to have a heavier meaning to you. It might get you thinking. The sad parts of cheesy Hallmark movies might hit too close to home.

You’ll decide to make a change. Changes don’t just come out of thin air. You have to work for them. You have to make them what you want them to be. You’ll see that the position you are in is no longer serving you and want to change that.

You’ll eventually feel ok again. All this pain subsides in due time. I can’t tell you that it’ll be quick or easy. I can just tell you it’ll be right. If you hurt for months, that’s what is right for your path. Days? Hours? Same thing. You’ll start to feel normal and maybe even better than before. You’ll go out more, experience more, love more. You’ll be more you. You’ll love yourself how you wished they would have loved you.

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You Don’t Earn Your Depression

The other day, I came across an article on Odyssey called “You Don’t Need A Reason For Your Depression, It’s Still Valid if Your Life is Technically ‘Good’“and it really got me thinking about a conversation I had with someone recently.

I was talking to a friend about how hard things have been and how badly I wished I wasn’t here. I vented about everything because I felt like I was talking to someone I could trust… someone who would help. Instead, I got the grand old “there are people who have it worse than you” lecture.

And in that moment, I felt disappointment and guilt. Disappointment because that wasn’t at all what I wanted or expected to hear. It was like I was reaching for help but they were stepping on my fingers. Guilt because now I felt terrible for taking everything I had for granted. Even guilt for speaking up about how I was feeling.

I spent a few days feeling awful about feeling awful.

Now I’m finally realizing how wrong that is. I mean, I always thought it was messed up for someone to say you’re not allowed to be upset because people have it worse than you. It’s like saying you can’t be happy because someone has it better than you. But something about the way it had been said to me that night was so manipulative that I was immediately convinced it was the truth.

My poor brain was doing flips. I kept shaming myself for overthinking or feeling pain. Any time I was sad, I told myself I was wrong. It added another layer of problems for me. It was like trying to put out a fire with more fire.

If you’re ever told that you shouldn’t be reacting a certain way because “someone else has it worse than you,” or “someone else would kill to be in the position you’re in,” know that your feelings are valid. It is not your job to base your pain on the pain of others. It is not your job to turn off your feelings at the flip of a switch because someone says you shouldn’t feel that way.

I hate what this person said to me. I hate this person’s mindset. But I don’t hate this person. I actually love them a lot. So, as you can imagine, it really hurts me that I can no longer feel comfortable talking to them about my struggles.

I didn’t want to write about this at first because I was afraid it would cause problems with the person who said it, but at the end of the day it needed to be said. Someone else might need to hear this. I hope the person who said this to me reads this. Let’s be honest, they’re probably going through some shit too.

Please, reach out to your friends. Make sure they’re ok. It isn’t easy to ask someone for help. By showing that interest yourself, it invites and reassures them.

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255

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My Travel Bucket List

I’ve never sat down and thought about places I’d like to visit… at least not until I started spending more time with people who are all about traveling.

I’ve only ever really left the country once and I was too young to remember much of it. I hope to make more trips out of the country in the future (hence some of the locations I’ll mention), but the U.S. also has some gorgeous locations to explore!

 

1. Chicago

2. Los Angeles

3. Amsterdam

4. Santorini

5. Miami

6. New York City

7. Toronto

8. Brisbane

9. Paris

10. Barcelona

 

Do you have a bucket list of places to visit? Where would you go?

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