Moving Right Along!

As some of you may know, I recently moved to Denver to pursue my writing. Upon my arrival, I started a new blog entitled: Success in the City! The purpose of which was to provide motivation for anyone struggling with a drastic life change or embarking on a path to reconnect with themselves. Originally I wanted to keep that journey separate from the writing of Insane Roots, but I realize now that it is impossible to have one without the other.

Therefore, I will no longer be posting updates to Success in the City. Instead, I will be channeling all my energy in keeping up to date with Insane Roots and Random Thoughts from Insane Roots (my poetry blog).

Thank you all for your support on this blog and the others. I look forward to having more time to connect with all of you and I am excited to read all of the wonderful pieces you have to share!

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Blogging 101: Getting Involved!

Today’s assignment (#3) for Blogging 101 is to explore and connect with the blogging community. This is the perfect assignment for me!

Those who are near and dear to me know that I am a hard nut to crack! I tend to keep people at a distance until I am confident in their good intentions. Someone once referred to me as jaded. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to agree with that, but stand-offish yes I am! I am shy by nature, but ask any of my close friends and they will tell you that once I feel comfortable with you the shyness completely fades away and the kooky comes out!

Anyone who has read my blog, Insane Roots, probably has a pretty good idea as to why I have such a tough exterior. The uncertainty and abandonment I experience in my early childhood has made me leery of new relationships. This is not very beneficial when you have just moved to a new city and are trying to promote an upcoming book. I fear I will turn in to a hermit if I don’t get myself out there, so I am trying to change this with every passing day.

With that having been said, I am off to explore the blogging community!

Hello fellow bloggers! I look forward to learning about you and reading your posts!

Blogging 101: Reevaluating Who I am and Why I’m Here

As many of you know, this is not my first blog. I have been blogging on WordPress for about a year. The first blog I started was Insaneroots and it was more of a brainstorming technique in preparation for a memoir I was working on and an outlet of expression from the emotional turmoil in my life. My goal at that time was to take a step towards sharing my story and my writing to the world. I never in a million years thought that it would become the gateway to getting published, but here I am one year later with a manuscript in the works and a signed publishing contract! It has been my dream to publish my memoir and a goal I honestly never expected to achieve. Although it will be fantastic if I end up selling a ton of copies, I will be satisfied enough simply to see it on the shelves. It is amazing how one small achievement can change your entire perspective on life!

To give you an idea of how I began blogging, here is an excerpt from my original post to this blog:

“I had been living in Madison, Wisconsin, fairly content, but feeling there was something more out there for me. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew I needed to figure it out before it was too late. I was working for a family owned company, making good money. I was surrounded by friends and family that I hold very dear to my heart, but I still felt lost. Maybe not lost as much as disappointed. There were many nights when I would come home from work (or drinks after work) to my one bedroom apartment (and my cats) and think to myself…what now? I wasn’t satisfied. I tried picking up my various hobbies, such as painting, scrap-booking, and photography, but I never felt inspired to continue any of the projects I started. I had taken great joy in these outlets before, so why not now? What had changed?

I pulled out one of my many scrapbooks from years past and as I flipped through it, I realized what had changed…I did. As I looked through the collections of memories, I barely recognized this version of me and my life in the pages. I used to have such a love for life. I was determined, optimistic, creative, ambitious, healthy…all things I no longer attributed to myself. An overwhelming sadness came over me and for a moment, I just sat there staring off in to space, trying to figure out how all this had happened and what I could do to fix it. Something needed to change.

I went on this way for months; feeling defeated and overwhelmed by the notion of needing to reconnect with myself, but having no idea of how to do that. I resorted to a method of expression I had used in my early adulthood to cope with these emotional barriers; writing. Off and on through out my life, I had been working on a memoir recounting my life growing up with a con-artist for a mother and an unidentified father. Many had told me that my story was interesting and inspiring, so I decided to start trying to piece it all together.

I did not realize it then, but the sheer act of writing the blog was exactly what I needed to do to get the ball rolling in finding that “something more” I was looking for. Writing the blog forced me to revisit some of the most challenging struggles in my early childhood and most importantly to work through the emotions surrounding these events. I wrote several of the posts through tears, but after I was finished, I felt better. It was like a therapy session for me each time I logged in. I guess I did end up using that Psychology degree after all…on myself!”

And thus began my blogging ritual!

Now, with the book deal in the works, I had to find something else to blog about and I didn’t have much inspiration until I decided to make a drastic life change and move half way across the country. When I could no longer diminish the urge to write, I started this blog; Success in the City Blog!

Unfortunately, I have had trouble coming up with things to post about (Hence my current exploration in to Blogging 101)!

When I was posting to Insaneroots, it was easy because I was pulling stories from my childhood (which seemed to be endless), but now I had to make a drastic switch in my mental preparedness in order to begin each new post.

I didn’t want this to just be another online journal, but rather an expression of the struggles many of us experience when making a drastic change in their life. Whether it be a career change, a long distance move or in my case both, these types of changes in one’s life call for great reevaluation of oneself. My goals for this year are to reconnect with myself, learn to love myself and most importantly learn to stand up for myself! My hope is that I may give others strength to do the same through the expression of my own personal journey.

If I have learned anything over the past few years it is that if you believe in yourself, the rest will follow!

Happy Writing!

Where I was When I Decided to Change my Life and What I’m Doing Now

In my first post, “Finding Myself” I explained how I came about the decision to change my circumstance and begin my journey to fulfillment. I have since then explored a variety of creative avenues and believe I am finally on the right path!

After I signed the publishing contract for Insane Roots and stopped posting in that blog, I was still yearning for a writing outlet,  so I started a new blog on WordPress: Random Thoughts from Insane Roots. For months I lacked the courage to post anything. When I was posting in my book blog, I had more confidence because I knew that the subject matter was interesting so I didn’t worry so much about whether it would be received well or not. With the new blog, it was all on me and I had no idea where to start. I found myself with a severe case of writers block!

Until recently…that is!

I decided to start typing up my poetry and rants from all of my random notebooks from many years past and I stumbled across some real gems. After some minor editing, I made my 1st post, then my 2nd and I was working on my 3rd when I found a folder of writing from the last few months I was in Wisconsin. The difference in the tone of the writing was drastic and sadly very dark. Feeling the way I do now and reading something I wrote while I was feeling defeated and lost was surprisingly uplifting. To know this place and to remember this place is never to revisit this place.

The response to these posts were not out of this world, but I did immediately begin receiving likes and I already have a few followers. This in itself was extremely inspiring.  Now I had a creative outlet for my poetry and random ideas, in addition to my personal journey blog that you are reading now. I can officially say that I believe that I am addicted to blogging! I have overcome my fear of ridicule (at least where my writing is concerned) and with any luck this confidence will spill over in to my everyday attitude as well.

Despite my positive outlook and cherry disposition, I am unfortunately one of those people who spends way too much time worrying about the opinions of others. So much that it has begun to affect my self-confidence a great deal. For example, if I am walking down the street and catch someone staring at me or see them look me up and down, I immediately assume the negative. I start analyzing my entire appearance trying to determine what they found to be wrong with me. It’s sad really.

To counter act this, I  have been making a conscious effort to remind myself in these moments that the person in question may just be admiring my skirt, think my hair is pretty or they may even find me attractive?! Why set myself up to fail? It’s much better to assume the best and besides, who cares if your wrong. If you have confidence in yourself then even if that person was thinking mean thoughts about you, it wouldn’t matter because your positive outlook will over-power their negativity!

I’m not saying that this always works for me, but I’m trying my best.

I am still working on that list of joys I compiled (see my post : Blast from the Past) to continue my journey in finding my true self. One of the items on that list is my health. I am not extremely over weight or anything, but I definitely have a few pounds that I could do without. The weight is not the biggest issue with my health and it is not like I live an extremely unhealthy lifestyle, rather it’s the fact that I know I can do better. During the time I refer to in the post, a time when I was the closest I have ever been to my true self, I was extremely healthy. For the majority of the time I lived in Seattle, I was either Vegetarian, Vegan or (for most of the time) raw vegan. I am not saying that I would like to completely give up meat again, but I would like to cut back drastically. I went from only eating raw food for close to five years to a steady diet of meat, beer and cheese for the last seven years. Needless to say, my body is in a much different condition than it was seven years ago and I can’t blame it all on my age (although that has not been helpful).

The point is that I am old enough to know better and old enough to care! So, I have decided to delve back in to the raw food diet. today is my first day and so far so good. Luckily I started my new temp job today, so I am less tempted to eat junk food than I would have been hanging around the house all day. My roommate and I are doing a 28 day raw boot camp to help us get back on a healthy track and help cleanse our body from toxins. After the 28 days are over, I will return to eating cooked foods, but I hope to maintain at least a 50-75% raw diet. Most likely, I will eat raw throughout the day and end the day with a partially cooked dinner and a salad. I will keep you posted on my progress.

It is hard to believe that just a few months ago I was in one of the lowest points in my life. The transformation in me that is beginning to take place (mind, body & soul) gives me strength to continue on my path of self-discovery and the further validation of myself.

Today is a good day!

The Momentum Continues…

I ended my last post feeling inspired and optimistic that I was on the right path. On Saturday, armed with my list of “joys” I decided it was time to get organized. At times it feels like I have so many ideas rolling around in my head that I become overwhelmed and end up not following through with any of it. I refused to let that happen this time around.

I am a visual person, so I thought it would be best to find a way to display my goals for the day, week and month in order to keep me on task. To do this, I found one of my old bulletin boards and divided it into three sections with the headings: Today, This Week, & This Month.

The plan: Each night before bed, I would make tomorrow’s ‘To do’ list and pin it up next to the more permanent Weekly and Monthly lists. The daily list would help to keep me on task and as the week and month progressed, I would be able to see my accomplishments by the increasing number of items I was able to cross off of each list. If all goes well the rest of the month will prove to be a very productive.

To help create the weekly and monthly ‘to do” lists, I decided that I should first create a master to do list. Realistically I can not expect to complete every project I have in my head in the next three weeks. This also gave me a place to jot down new projects/items as they popped in to my head. Currently I will just grab a scratch sheet of paper and jot down the idea or put a memo in my phone, but I just end up with random ideas everywhere that never amount to anything. This would allow me to keep all of those ideas in one central location. In addition to the master to do list, I also created a Craft Project list. This will allow me to keep my creative ideas in one place as well. After creating both lists, put them on a clip board and hung them next to the bulletin board. I was ready to go!

In my new quest for change, I have been researching different career paths centered around my interests. I have found several promising avenues, but I have not taken action towards any of them. With my new system in place, I decided that this was the week to get started!

Obviously, my ultimate passion is writing and in my research I have found three websites in the realm of freelance writing: Elance, Freelancer, & Hubpages. I have yet to delve in to Elance or Freelancer yet, but I did set up a new Hub on Hubpages; Changing Career Paths in your 30’s

In my hub, I discussed several of the online income sources that I have been trying out; Inbox Dollars, Panda Research, Mindspay and the application Gigwalk. From everything that I have read about HubPages, they have a pretty strict screening process, so I was thrilled to find out that they not only approved my first Hub, but they actually featured it in their topic pages and made it available to search engines. My next goal is to make Editor’s choice, wouldn’t that be exciting!!

Feeling good about my new writing outlets, I was off to explore something a little more crafty; jewelry making! In my twenties, I spent many hours making hemp jewelry, but seeing as this was not really the “thing” anymore I decided to try my skills at wire wrapping and bead stringing instead. I purchased a small amount of supplies; wire, pliers, a few new beads ( I already had a bunch from my hemp days) and earring cards. I used the stamp I purchased a while ago for my photography prints and stamped the back of several of the cards to get me started.

Rochelle Studios Stamp - Earring Card Back Rochelle Studios Stamp - Earring Card

After a few hours, I made a total of two sets of earrings. This was a lot more difficult that I had originally thought. Practice makes perfect though and I will keep on trying, but for now I decided to put it down and work on something else. It’s not like I don’t have a long list of crafting projects to choose from! If I end up creating something beautiful in the future, I will be sure and let you know.

The next project on my list is a glass photo key chain. I will report on my progress in my next post. I’m feeling a bit more confident about this one.

That’s all for now, have a wonderful Friday everyone.

Thanks for reading!