Happy New Year everybody! Man, it feels so good to leave 2020 behind. New beginnings are always refreshing, and this one was so needed. That’s why I’m celebrating with an unexpected post!
In the last year, I learned the importance of setting goals and sticking to them. I was always one to make new year’s resolutions, and forget about them within a week. Drive hasn’t always been my strong suit. But I feel like 2020 was a huge year of growth and self-reflection for me, so I decided that I would make this year one of action. I actually want to stick to my resolutions this year.
To do this- I decided to give myself a bunch of little resolutions or goals in different aspects of my life. I spent a few hours and just brainstormed. I thought of things I didn’t like that I wanted to change, things I liked that I wanted to stay the same, and things that I’ve wanted to try but could never find a good enough reason to. I think I was able to create the best list that way. I really recommend you guys try it either for your new year’s resolution, or maybe even a random life audit. Here’s my list.
Stick to my upload schedule (Mondays and every other Sunday)
Redesign my site to something I love and will commit to
Work on sharing more photos with my posts
Spend more time with family and friends (COVID permitting)
Hi guys and happy Monday! We’re back on schedule with weekly posts, ladies and gentlemen!
Not long ago I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw an account had shared “The Most Beautiful Questions.” I flipped through them and quickly answered them all to myself. I was blown away by how unique the questions were as well as how hard they were to answer. So of course I had to bring them to you guys!
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Oh there’s so much I would do. First of all, I would invest every second of every day into my writing and the dream job that I want. I would create my brand and live my dream life. I would fall in love with my life again. I would take more chances in general, I suppose.
How are you, really?
Right now, much better than I have been in years. I’m so happy, healthy, and motivated. Feeling so refreshed is such a blessing and I hope that it never goes away. I’m waking up excited to see what every day holds, and that’s so far from the life I was living even only a couple of months ago. I tried to use the unfortunate time COVID brought us in the most positive way- life auditing- and it really payed off.
Are you finding your dream job or are you creating it?
Hopefully both. More than anything in the world, I want to create content. But that’s a lot easier said than done. Since my unplanned break, I’ve had so much work to do in order to play catch up and make up for lost time. So clearly creating my dream job will take a little longer than expected. But I hope that I’ll get there one day. And until then, I hope to find something that is just as dreamy to get me by.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
This question is interesting. I suppose it would be right now. I recently decided to start reading the bible in its entirety. I’m just starting out with little experience in all of this, so it’s been pretty challenging sometimes. But I’ve made an Instagram page for my bible studies and I’ve had so many sweet, kind hearted people DMing me with explanations and links to tools that can help me. But yeah, I think that’s the last time I did something for the first time.
Why are you worth knowing?
This question actually intimidated me. I had to take a second to sit and think about an answer. Is that bad? Generally speaking, I think I’m worth knowing because I’m a hard worker and I try to be true to myself. But that’s a really loaded question that I could take in so many different directions.
What or who lights you up?
So many things. So many people. Right now all I can think of is my sweetest sweetheart boyfriend who keeps me motivated and confident each and every single day. I’ve never met anyone who has connected with me on such a deep level and really touched my heart. Without a doubt, he is the reason for who I am today. He’s my hero.
How do you treat people who can do nothing for you?
I think everybody can do something for me, no matter how big or small. A lot of people who I have never met or even glanced at have done something for me. And you never really know when someone can or cannot do something for you, so I try to stay kind and appreciative.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Spring semester is here and I’m thriving! So far, I love all of my classes and my instructors seem so nice and knowledgable. I’m super excited to put my all into this semester. Typically, I have a not-so-great first semester where I’m getting back into the swing of things after summer break, and then a really good spring semester. I hope that’s the case this year too.
Along with classes, I’ll be applying myself a lot more with content creating! I recently got this rush of motivation and I think it’s going to really help me kick my butt into high gear. I’ve been planning like crazy so I hope you guys enjoy everything I share!
I’ll be the first to admit that my eyes are glued to my phone. But I look at my phone as a tool. I have ways to stay in touch with family, ways to keep my day-to-day life organized, ways to give and receive important information, etc.
I’m only sharing apps that I personally use and enjoy. There are all apps I use regularly or feel that other students might.
I’m a big fan of flashcards. But when I don’t think my handwriting is good enough, I can end up rewriting the same thing a million times. It ends up being a waste of time. That’s why I use Quizlet now. I can get all of my notes transferred very easily into neatly printed flashcards that I can print OR access through my phone moments before my exam!
Going out with friends is a constant game of, “I forgot my wallet. Can you spot me?” Venmo is a huge lifesaver in those moments. I’m almost always using Venmo.
Walking to and from classes is so painfully boring without something to listen to. For college students, Spotify premium is half the price and includes Hulu and Showtime!
I prefer to use Google Calendar for my planning and scheduling. It’s super easy to use and I can use it to schedule so many different aspects of my life by color coding. For example- blog related events are purple. I can scroll quickly through my calendar and the bright purple labels help me see right away when something needs to be done.
When I’m rushing to get assignments done, I can never find the time to make myself something to eat. That’s why I worship at the feet of Postmates. Postmates makes it so east to get food from nearby restaurants delivered to your door. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used Postmates since I’ve been in college. It’s almost routine!
My university uses Blackboard as the platform for classroom communication and access to materials. I use the blackboard app to see what’s on my syllabus when I am not around the printed copy. I can also use it to communicate with professors and classmates, check due dates, and submit projects I complete on my phone.
At the end of 2018, I wrote 2019 New Year’s Resolutions where I listed my goals for the incoming year. I’ll be honest with you- I forgot I even posted that until yesterday. I figured today I would go back and see if I succeeded with any of them.
“Give myself more time to relax”
I knew I needed a lot more me time so I did all I could to make that happen. I gave myself breaks from going out with friends and family as a way to decompress from everything. Sometimes that meant staying in bed all day watching tiktoks and other times it meant writing content and planning out upcoming months. Very soothing.
“Don’t push things off until the last minute (plans, school, etc.)”
Oh, I’m the best at procrastinating, so I promise you no adjustments were made here. Just this last semester, I waited until the day before a final project was due to even look at the assignment. Cool, right?
I sort of got there. I do a lot of walking, and I did some exercising for a little while, but nothing crazy. My sister, Rianna, and I have talked about going to the gym more this year, so hopefully I’ll get that squared away.
“Do something out of my comfort zone”
I tried my best in 2019 to do things I wouldn’t usually do and it was a lot more difficult than I expected. Anxiety is a bitch, as I’m sure a lot of you know. But I actually am very proud of myself for the progress I made in 2019. I went to concerts with my sister and made new friends, both of which are usually terrifying to me.
“Be more confident in myself”
In 2019 I learned that this may be up and down for a while. Some days I loved myself and had so much confidence and other days it pained me to look in the mirror. If I look at things accumulatively, I suppose I was a bit more confident in myself in 2019 than the year prior.
I definitely read a lot of textbook material this year, but not a lot outside of school like I originally wanted to. It was one of those things where I just couldn’t find the time to open a book that wasn’t poetry.
I gave up on that one pretty quickly. I journaled whenever I was going through things and it helped me get over whatever was going on, but I never really journaled about positive things.
“Take lots of pictures”
Oh, trust me, I nailed this one. I love taking pictures to capture moments. I have so many pictures from the past year! I also have a lot of videos!
I was back and forth with this one. Some days were good, but then I’d go into a dark hole filled with potato chips and chocolate bars. Yikes. I’ll do better this year. I promise!
“Drink more water”
After I got myself a cute reusable to take to all of my classes, I was never without water. I kept hydrated pretty easily and my skin thanked me. Now if I go a couple days without drinking lots of water, you can tell by the inevitable volcano-like pimples I get on my face!
“Stop using plastic straws”
I did really well for a while with this one by carrying my reusable metal straws with me wherever I went, but then it became a chore and- sad to say- I failed. I’m trying again in 2020, so we’ll see if I do any better this year.
“Follow a posting schedule”
I was able to do it for a while, but life got a little chaotic and I stopped. It was on/off for a few months, but I still got posts out at least a couple times a month, I think.
“Only post what makes me proud”
I’ve gotten better at making sure my content is something I’m truly proud of instead of what I think I should be posting for either clicks or approval. I think I’ve really narrowed down how I want to run this site and what kind of media should be on here. 2020 will bring a lot of changes!
“Be more confident in my writing”
Some days I was, others I wasn’t so much, but looking back at all I got posted in a year, I’m very proud of myself for keeping up with it more than I had any year before.
“Post at least once a week”
Haha. Well we all know that didn’t happen.
“Meet more fellow bloggers”
Yes! I met so many awesome bloggers who I’d consider good friends of mine now! They helped me figure out where I was wanting my blog to go and what I would have to do to get there. They’ve also given me a lot of inspiration and motivation.
“Take risks with my work”
I definitely took a few risks with things I wanted to do with my blog and some really paid off. I also made a lot of plans for things that I want to do that will take more time. But I guess the idea for said “risks” were made in 2019, so I’ll count those too.
Go to the gym
Devote more time to my studies
Gain more confidence in myself
Present myself in a kinder light
Donate a lot of my clothes that I don’t wear anymore
Can you believe this is my third year writing my yearly recap? I can’t!
So for those who don’t know, at the end of every year I like to highlight some of my highs and lows of the year (see Paying Homage to 2017, Paying Homage to 2018). I started in 2017 as a casual post, not thinking I would keep up with it the following years. I always consider the third time to be what establishes something as a tradition, so here we are guys! It’s officially a Megann Louise tradition!
In last year’s recap, I said I was going to make 2019 my bitch. Well, we win some, we lose some, right? Whenever I look back on this year I get a bad taste in my mouth. I know a lot of great things happened, but I also experienced a lot of heartache. I’d consider this year to be one of great growth for me.
At the start of the year, I got to see Cody Ko and Noel Miller live with my sister and friend James. Their Youtube videos were what got me through a lot of hard stuff so it was wild that I was in the same room as them.
In May I finished my first year of college at CSU. I ended up making the Dean’s List, which I would not have expected at the beginning of the year. I finally decided on the right major for me in that time too- communication.
I moved out of my first apartment in May, too. It was the ending of an era, I suppose. That place became my home. I made so many wild memories in apartment 509. As sad as I was leaving, I felt a weird sense of relief too. I was leaving behind a piece of me, which was sort of sad, but I knew I was starting a new chapter.
In July, I surprised my sister with a party for her 18th birthday. It was pretty last minute, but all her friends pitched in and helped me make things work. I was so grateful for everybody’s help in making it such a success. Being able to do something like that for my sister was so special to me.
Then there was a bump in the road. I said goodbye to a nearly two year relationship. Things just don’t work out sometimes and it’s for the best. I still have a ridiculous amount of love and respect for my ex. He’s a great guy…. just not my soulmate. And that’s alright. It took me a while to move past the heartbreak, which is to be expected when you were with someone for a long time. He is genuinely one of my best friends and I’m so lucky to still have him to confide in whenever I need him. While some would expect me to be sad that the relationship ended, I’m glad that I’m still lucky enough to have a friend in him.
For a while after the break up, I was in a really dark place and couldn’t seem to find the way out. I didn’t feel half as confident as I once did. I suppose it’s normal (but in no way healthy) to dog on yourself after a break up… at least for a little while. After I was finally able to get myself out of bed, I was going out to get my mind off of everything. That’s where the fun came in.
First, we went to see Granger Smith. The story behind that one is a little random. We had gone to Walmart and there were two tour buses in the parking lot (which obviously isn’t a normal thing). Turns out Granger was at Walmart! We didn’t get to see him there, but we took it as a sign that we should buy two tickets to the show that was only hours away. I have to say that that was one of the best nights I’d had in a while. The rush we felt after buying the tickets was insane. We immediately ran to get ready and blasted Granger throughout the house.
The very next night, we were invited to tag along to a Foreigner concert. I didn’t know too many songs (I know, what’s wrong with me?!) but I still had such a good time. I think that’s one of the first nights where I was able to fully drop every bad thought at the door and enjoy myself.
In late August, I moved back to Cleveland with my little sister for school. We got a new place with two other roommates that’s a lot nicer than the one I lived in the year before. I started what is the second semester of my sophomore year. Rianna, my sister, began her first semester as a freshman! The semester came with a lot of adjusting for us both and somehow we made it through all of the headaches.
For the second year in a row, my dad, sister, and I went to the Cleveland Air Show. When I was little, my dad always talked about taking us. Then finally last year, we got to go. I’ll be honest- I didn’t think I’d enjoy it all that much. But it was so much fun, that I was jumping up and down over getting to go again this year. I’d love for this to become a tradition!
To reward ourselves for kicking butt the first few weeks of school, Rianna and I went to our first Cleveland Indian’s game! I’ve never been a die hard baseball fan, but the atmosphere was so fun and I really enjoyed myself. I was still trying to recover from a lot mentally so that night was a breath of fresh air for me. Fun fact- I also bought my first legal drink at the game!
School got progressively more challenging and I went into a downward spiral. I started doing things I swore to myself I would never do. I just lost control of who I was. That’s when I reintroduced myself to faith. I let myself stray from religion in the past few years and by coming back, I felt myself finding closure and motivation to overcome everything I was facing.
Then I did something out of my comfort zone. After having several deep talks with my friend Kaleb, I found motivation to share my story. I went live on Instagram. I came clean about everything I had been feeling because I hoped being transparent would not only help me, but help someone watching. I was open about things that most people would consider taboo. Laying it all out on the table really helped me see the bigger picture. I even got some super sweet messages from people who watched to livestreams. There was so much support and understanding. It was beautiful. I don’t imagine I’ll ever get over that.
Shortly after, I reconnected with a friend I made during my first semester of school at CSU. We got lunch and caught each other up on our lives. We both had some wild stories to tell and a lot of laughs to share. I was really excited to have this friend in my life because he was absolutely hysterical and genuinely a great guy to be around.
I’m so excited to be saying goodbye to this transformative decade. I’ve got a lot of goals for 2020. I want to make it a year of hard work and big steps. I refuse to end 2020 in the same place that I start it. It’s time to grow, baby!
Thank you to everyone who stuck around for another year as well as those who stumbled upon my site this year! You guys make each and every year so special. I hope you all have a magnificent new year and get all you want and need!
I know you’re getting frustrated with yourself for crying at night. You want a peaceful night without the pain. But it’s ok to cry. It’s ok and completely normal to grieve the loss of something that cannot come back. Don’t be ashamed.
I promise that you’re healing.
It doesn’t come overnight. You may feel like you’re in the same rut day in and day out, but you’re making progress. I promise you that it won’t feel like it at first and that’ll suck… but it’s happening.
Cry because it’s good for you. Cry and eat all the chocolate you can find. Then go buy more. That’s ok.
But here’s what you can’t do.
You can’t force them to come back. You can’t beg. You can’t forget your worth.
You have to focus on your own healing. Figure out how you will move forward. You don’t need to know right away, either. You can spend some time being lost. You’re allowed to be lost. If you were never lost, how can you be found?
Earlier today I joined family, friends, and members of my community in walking to end the stigma around mental health and reduce the suicide rate by 25% by 2025. Roughly 1600 people were in attendance in Cleveland as we heard stories from survivors and families of those who lost their battle.
Suicide has impacted my life in so many different ways and I felt that this year I was ready to attend a walk and expose myself to others who come from similar experiences. When we arrived, I was amazed. I didn’t expect to feel so much overwhelming support and solidarity from everyone there.
Prior to walk day, those registered (and even some who had not registered) collected donations for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Together, we raised over $146,000 which was more than our targeted amount for the walk! One team alone collected $8,000 in donations!
At the walk, participants wore different colored beaded necklaces to represent why they walked. I did not originally plan on representing myself at this walk, but after walking around and seeing others doing the same, I gathered the courage to don a green beaded necklace. This symbolized my personal struggle with suicidal thoughts and mental health. I’m not one who likes to broadcast my struggles- especially in a society where it’s taken as a plea for attention. However, today felt like a day where I could be open about my struggles with mental health and not be judged or ashamed.
My team and I also sported buttons with the names of those we walked for. I was proud to carry the names of my loved ones close to my heart as I walked. Writing the several names down on the buttons and seeing the different names each person had on theirs was chilling. It was hard to process that so many people know of more than one person who lost their life to suicide.
Before we began walking throughout Cleveland, we heard the story of a widow who had lost her husband only a few short years ago. She talked about the time leading up to her husband’s passing as well as her adjustment afterward. Hearing her story was sobering.
I can list several people whose lives crossed paths with mine that have taken their own lives- friends, relatives, classmates, members of my community. It’s a painful reality that we are hoping to change each and every day.
Today I walked for those I knew.
Today I walked for myself.
Today I walked for anybody who needed or needs help getting out of the darkness.
I look forward to doing this walk again in the future and sharing more memories with the community of survivors and loved ones of those who have passed on.
I am still collecting donations to go toward the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention! If you would like to donate, click here!