Everything in Moderation

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

 

I heard this quote for the first time recently and it really hit home.

While balance is often preached as the secret to life, sometimes it’s the balance that leaves me so worn out. Day in and day out I’m trying to make sure I find time for goal setting, self care, loving others, eating right, being productive, etc. I try to achieve that balance, but by the time I’m getting into bed each night I’m feeling more overwhelmed than I did that morning.

I end up lying there wondering what I could have done better, what I shouldn’t have done at all, and how I can improve the next day. I promise to pursue that balance, but I’m also wondering how I’ll ever be able to do it.

So maybe, that’s not the answer.

As this quote suggests, maybe it’s not about finding and maintaining that balance every. single. day. But striving for a balance—whatever that means for you. That means knowing when you need more or less of something. It means giving yourself a break when you can’t find time to do much of anything at all.

Moderation is healthy. And it’s a good standard for living, but it shouldn’t be your only standard. Be wild sometimes. Break the rules. Change the rules. Know when you need to be disciplined. Know when you need a nap or a snack—or two snacks. Respect when you need to be quiet and when you need to scream. Find your balance, and don’t be ashamed if it doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

I Can’t Pee in the Ocean

You’ve read the title. You know what we’re here to talk about.

It’s an overshare, but we’re moving on.

I, Kim, cannot pee in the ocean. This is a fact of not only my adult life, but my life for as long as I can remember. Or at least since the day I figured out that the ocean is kind of scary and may or may not swallow you up if you aren’t careful.

The ocean just gives me a lot of anxiety.

The beach? Love it.

What’s not to love about a place where it’s not only encouraged to lie around without pants on, but to do so with snacks and a drink close by, AND to nap at least once while you’re there?

If you give me a book, some pretzels and a hoodie, you can do whatever you want in the ocean and I’ll be right there waiting for you hours later—most likely sunburned in a place I could have swore I put sunscreen on, and wondering if there’s a popup ice cream shop somewhere. All of this comes crashing down however, when there are no bathrooms.

Which was the case this past weekend.

It was a lovely Saturday afternoon. My sister and I had made the (only slightly) trafficky drive to the beach and were set to spend our afternoon there. Since it was later in the day, we hadn’t brought any snacks because we didn’t want anything to take away from the tacos we were planning on devouring that evening.

We were at what you might call a secret spot so there were no bathrooms in sight, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I didn’t realize I had to pee the moment we stepped onto the sand.

“It’s fine,” I said, “I’m fine.”

She was not fine, said the narrator.

For the next half hour or so, we lay in the sand, my sister studying for an upcoming test and me reading a chapter of a book I will definitely have to reread.

“Do you want to walk down to the water?” my sister said, faux casually.

I thought about saying, “yeah, sure, I just love the water,” but we both would have known I was full of garbage and we also both knew that my only thought for every single one of the last 30 minutes was: I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee.

Needless to say, we walked down to the water.

I was feeling roughly 0% confident, seeing as my record of peeing in the ocean in the last, say, 10 years of my life was 0. But I had to go, you know? And so I trailed behind her, wondering how many of our fellow beach patrons were pointing and saying, “she’s definitely going to pee in the ocean, let’s watch.”

If they were watching—which, gross­—they would have seen little more than me hopping around, quietly shrieking and gasping and unnecessarily cursing. At one point a wave came in higher than I thought and water splashed up into my eye. Another time I thought I might maybe kind of a little bit go pee, but then I saw a flock of birds and got distracted and so it went away.

Eventually, after thirty minutes of not being able to pee in ocean, I trudged up the beach, lay back down on my towel and re-opened my book.

The good news was that the exorbitant amount of anxiety the water had given me had essentially scared the pee into some back corner of my body. So for the next hour I was able to lie there and read without wondering if my bladder was going to explode, causing Shonda Rhymes to use my story on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. The bad news was the breeze picked up and my pantsless, unable-to-retain-body-heat existence started to shiver the pee out of hibernation. Thus, around 6:00 p.m. we packed up our bags, made the walk back to our car and drove totally over the speed limit to the taco joint. #criminal #gottafleetofreethepee

In conclusion, I peed.

It wasn’t in the ocean and it probably won’t ever be, but I peed.

To everyone out there whose bladder has got no motion in the ocean, you’re not alone. And to everyone who can’t relate to this story in any way,  you know a lot about my bladder now and I apologize.

If You Have Time to Kill, Take These Personality Tests

This past weekend my sister and I dove into the world of personality tests.

While I like to think we know each other pretty well, and we know ourselves even better, you can never really know enough, you know?

Us humans are complicated things, so it’s nice to gain some insight into why we might do the things we do, in the way we do them, at the time we do them. And while therapy is a necessary and wonderful thing, sometimes it’s nice to put entirely too much trust into tests on the Internet and then evaluate your entire life as you sit in your living room watching a baseball game.

So yeah, you could say we had a wild weekend.

If you are looking to learn a little bit more about yourself, or just have 20-30 minutes to kill, give these a try.

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1) Your Love Language

This will teach you about what you consider to be love and how you need it to be expressed/shown to you.

My Result: Quality Time

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Find the test here.

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2) Enneagram Test

This will tell you about your personality and where it fits in to the nine major types.

My result: Type 3, “The Achiever”

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Find the test here.

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3) Enneagram Test with Instinctual Variant

This is a shorter version of the enneagram test that asks you to rate yourself on specific personality traits.

My result: Type 3w2 with a Self Preservation Variant

Find the test here (just below the last one)

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4) The 16 Personalities Test

This is essentially an extension of the enneagram test that measures your personality against 16 different types.

My result: The Advocate (Type INFJ-T)

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Find the test here.

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5) Which Type of Potato are You?

Because, well, don’t you want to know?

My result:

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Find the test here.

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I cannot and will not claim any responsibility for any emotional confusion/identity crises that may result in the taking of these quizzes. I will, however, take full blame for anyone craving potatoes at work today. I’m looking at you, scalloped.

31 Good Things that Happened in July

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in

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1) Gwendolyn Christie submitted herself for an Emmy—and got nominated

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2) This police department accepted animal shelter donations instead of cash for parking ticket payments

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3) Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s son Charlie made the most of his time at the MLB All Star Game

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4) This South Korean water polo team celebrated their first goal

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5) People in Ethiopia planted over 350 million trees

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6) Netflix announced it will remove all forms of smoking in its original programs rated TV-14 or lower

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7) This man sent a heartfelt text on his wedding day

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8) This girl found a…familiar dog?

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9) Miss Virginia 2019, a biochemist, was crowned after doing a science experiment

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10) This incredible paper airplane took flight

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11) The first trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood came out

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12) The Be My Eyes app allowed volunteers to help the visually impaired

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13) This duet:

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14) These kids wrote their dad an incredible obituary

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15) France started forcing it’s grocery stores to donate their leftover food rather than throw it away

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16) This 12 year old made bow ties for dogs in animal shelters

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17) This man turned a bus stop into a full blown experience

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18) This man caught a wave

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19) These brothers started a candle company and donate some of their profits to the homeless

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20) Lizzo dominated this tiny desk concert

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21) US federal agencies pledged to go paperless by 2022

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22) This dog joined in

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23) New Hampshire passed a bill to offer free period products to students

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24) This carpenter used his life savings to send 33 strangers to college

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25) This Seattle Mariner shortshop made an incredible throw

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26) This dog tried his best to “shake”

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27) This noise sensitive student got a silent standing ovation

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28) This dad was sent on an errand by his daughter

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29) Stranger Things actor Dacre Montgomery shared this inspiration Instagram post

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When I was a kid, I was lost. I had a really tough time in school. I was a big kid who loved drama. I never got passing grades, I wasn’t popular or a gifted sports player. Girls were never interested in me. I suffered from anxiety from a young age. I was distracted and I wasn’t focused. But I had a dream, I was lucky – I knew what I wanted to do. And every night I went home and I focused on THAT. I visualised a future where my dreams became a reality. When I was 15 I failed my high school drama exams. When I was 16 I was told I needed to loose weight. When I was 17 I was told I should go to drama school and train. When I was 18 I was fired from my job. When I was in drama school I was told to leave. When I had a DREAM – I was told it wasn’t achievable. Well, you know what…. I lost weight, I went to drama school and I never stopped wanting it, I never stopped being curious. I never let the failures get me down. Because I believed in myself and I never let anyone tell me otherwise. You can do anything you set your mind to. So, go out there and get it!

A post shared by Dacre Montgomery (@dacremontgomery) on

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30) Olympic hopeful, Heptathlete Chari Hawkins, shared some inspirational words

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31) And this cat napped hard

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what August brings!

You can view the last edition of this series here.

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My Brother’s 21st Birthday in Vegas

Last Monday my little brother turned 21 years old. To celebrate, we did what many have done before us: go to Vegas. While the idea wasn’t necessarily original, we were determined to make the weekend one of a kind.

So, on Friday afternoon, as our navigation finally ticked down to those last final miles and we saw the strip come into view, we sat up in our seats and got ready to kick this thing off right. How, you might ask? By hurling axes.

Okay, technically throwing axes, but when you’re handed an axe and the freedom to launch it at a target, you dig deep and channel any dormant rage that might have been previously unaddressed, you take the recommended lunging step, and you hurl the damn thing.

After an hour of therapy axe throwing, we made our way to our hotel for the weekend: the Palazzo.

Three quick notes on the Palazzo

  • A beautiful hotel with luxurious suites that make you feel wealthy—and include buttons that make the curtains open and close so when you jump and clap you are reminded that you are not.
  • It’s located towards the end of one side of the strip so many of the other hotels are a bit of a walk, which can be good and bad. Good because you get your exercise in and walk your alcohol off, and bad because your bed is so far on your walk back at three in the morning.
  • Did I mention the curtain buttons?

Being his very first time in Vegas, we thought the best way to introduce Troy into its universe was to give him the chance to lose some money. So after dropping off our bags we headed down to the casino to teach him how to do just that.

He learned that slot machines are not something you understand, just buttons you push and cheer when they light up; he learned that sometimes machines speak to you and sometimes losing is inevitable; and he learned that drinks in the casino are free. (That last one really floored him)IMG_2471

That night, after a quick and easy dinner from the food court, the six of us freshened up and got dressed for our first evening out in Vegas. Troy’s outfit was the easiest, because it was assigned to him: a white t-shirt that said “It’s my 21st Birthday!” on one side, and “SIGN ME!” on the other.

Call back to what could have been a great joke: his outfit was asSIGNed to him.

Moving on.

If you ever go to Vegas for a birthday, bachelor/bachelorette party, or any other specific celebration, I highly recommend this T-shirt experience. Not only does it take away the responsibility of choosing what to wear, it also gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with a wide variety of people. Also, is there a better social experiment than seeing what people decide to write when handed a sharpie by a stranger? No. No there is not. By the end of the weekend, Troy’s shirt was adorned with advice, names, questionable drawings, and just plain incredible one-liners.

Troy’s 2nd assignment of the weekend was bingo.

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My cousin Spenser made this card with tasks that Troy had to complete in order for each square to be crossed off and ultimately create bingos. In the event of a bingo, someone had to take a shot. Some of my personal favorites to witness were “do the Captain Morgan pose for 1 minute”, which resulted in some very confused looks from the passerby, “get a picture with a fellow ginger”, which was completed when we ran into a group of incredibly welcoming Irish people, and “get a blackjack”, which Troy managed to complete in three hands at the blackjack table.

While not included on the bingo card, we also made sure to get Troy a Fat Tuesday, just so he could say he’s had one, and he diligently carried it around for the remainder of the night.

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When Troy was in Kindergarten, his class had a stuffed animal named Ruby the Rhinoceros and each week one of the kids got a chance to take Ruby home. Throughout the week, the kids would document all the adventures they took with Ruby and then bring her back and show the class. As we walked around Vegas and I saw Troy carry that Fat Tuesday, I thought of Ruby. I thought about Troy taking his Fat Tuesday back to class on Monday and telling everyone about the hotels they toured together. About the casinos and showgirls and drunk guys yelling, “WOOO” for no reason. About O’Shea’s bar where we played beer pong. Or the slot machine where Troy won most of his money back and two strangers came up and high fived him. What a show and tell that would be, huh?

Anyways.

Around 4:00 a.m. we turned in for the night (morning?) and if I remember correctly, my last words before falling asleep were, “I can’t wait to eat tomorrow!” So clearly our priorities were still firmly in tact.

At 11:30 a.m. the next same morning, we sat down to eat at the MGM Grand Buffet. I for one felt like I could have eaten the table, but I didn’t because French toast was also an option. We hung out, ate, and talked about the comparative size of the human brain and the human heart while sipping mimosas, as you do, and then we made our way over to Top Golf.

Since it was almost 1:00 p.m. and a ripe 108 degrees, the wait for a bay at Top Golf was only 30 minutes, so we put our name in and walked over to the bar area, where we came across a beer pong table. Cut into a hexagonal shape, there were six beer pong pyramids that would allow three games of one-on-one beer pong to be played. We could have done that. However, being the true innovators we are, we invented what will now forever be known as Assassination Beer Pong, in which all six players compete at once. Look for it on shelves soon—and when you find it let us know so we can sue for copyright.

Once our bay was ready, we played an hour and a half of golf. And while we probably won’t be competing at The Masters anytime soon, the free birthday donuts Troy was comped were, dare I say, a hole in one. #golfjokes.

We spent the rest of the afternoon gambling and snacking, and then around 8:30 p.m. we sat down at Beer Park, a rooftop bar and grill where we ate burgers, played Uno and watched UFC Fight Night—a very strange yet fulfilling combination.

From there we headed to the minus5 Ice experience at the Venetian, where we were given parkas and gloves and led into a (literally) freezing room with tables, benches, and thrones all made of ice. We ordered drinks that came in cups made of ice, and Troy did a luge shot that involved him sucking the alcohol through a straw as it traversed down at block of ice. It is a small room, but the experience is what you make it. We had an absolute blast, and my cousin Amanda and I tried our hand at on site reporting, which we’re assuming will get us an audition for ABC.

That night, after a doing a few more rounds in the casino at our hotel, most of us were ready to turn in. But with only a handful of squares left on his bingo sheet, Troy and Spenser headed to Caesar’s Palace. When they arrived at our hotel room only a short while later, we were surprised, but not nearly as surprised as when we heard that Troy’s bingo sheet had gotten them kicked out of Caesar’s! In what appeared to be a case of a grumpy security guard, Troy was able to cross off a bingo square we didn’t even know he’d need.

As we loaded up the car the next day, we all had that familiar Sunday in Vegas feeling: tired, but chock full of new stories to tell. I can only hope we’re still telling them years from now—most likely arguing and embellishing and interrupting each other with finite details, but always in the end, being able to sum it up with five lasting words: it was a good weekend.

BAWAGA: A New Mindset

I talk a lot about inspiration on this blog. Whether it be my own ideas, lessons I’ve learned from others, or words and phrases I’ve picked up anywhere and everywhere else. I’ve talked about mantras and mottos that carry me through rougher days (i.e. It’s Not Time to Worry Yet and Just Live the Day) and I’ve talked about mindsets that motivate me to push myself forward (i.e. Shout Your Strong and Opening the BIFC Door)

Today, I bring you yet another mindset, that comes straight from the first baseline of Dodger Stadium.

It was a hot afternoon in May and a small group of us were there to see the Dodgers play the Mets. Seated in field level seats right next to the foul pole, we were very close to Dodgers’ right fielder, Cody Bellinger, who, in case you haven’t heard, is having the season of his life.

“He’s such a badass,” my sister said as he warmed up after hitting another homerun.

“You might even say he’s…a badass with a great ass.

Badass with a great ass. (BAWAGA, if you will)

Obvious thirst aside, this stuck with me. Not necessarily as a quality we should give to others (sorry, Cody), but as a mindset we should take on for ourselves.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to like—let alone love—ourselves all at once. For me personally, I have moments of love, sparks of that hey, I dig that about myself, but very rarely (if ever) am I walking around thinking, “man I love my brain and my spirit and my body, I am just the total package.”

But what if I did? What if we did?

What if we pursued that total self-acceptance on a daily basis? What if we woke up thinking and believing, I am a badass with a great ass, I can do anything and then went about our day? How would that change the way we viewed our world? How would it change the way we treated others? How would it change the way we approached obstacles?

For athletes like Cody Bellinger, they need to take the field with a BAWAGA mindset, even on days when they don’t feel like it. If they don’t, they leave room for both doubt and the confidence of all of the other players to stand in front of them. And when all of that is blurring your vision, it’s impossible to play to the best of your ability because you don’t believe it exists.

The same goes for us regular (non-professional baseball playing, MLB record breaking) humans. We all have the ability to “play” at our best ability, but first we need to believe that our best exists. We need to go into each day with positivity and motivation and we need to look in the mirror with love and admiration. We need to appreciate all sides of ourselves—including the backside ayyyy—and remind ourselves that we can do anything. Why? Because we’re badasses. And not only that, we’re badasses with great asses.

Is it corny? Yes.

Is it cringy?  A little.

But does it secretly motivate me to go out there and kick some ass? Sure does.

21 Things to Tell My Brother on His 21st Birthday

In an unbelievable turn of events, my little brother turns 21 today.

What.

I mean…

WHAT.

It’s going to be weird forever, especially when July 2078 comes around and he turns 80 and I will once again say, “WAIT, WHAT?”

21 is a milestone in everyone’s (or at least every American’s) life and I’m so excited to get to celebrate it. It means he’s moving into a new chapter that will hold brand new and exciting adventures.

So as we move towards those exciting adventures, little brother, I just wanted to give you a few pieces of advice that I picked up both on my way towards and in my time since turning 21. I can only hope they bring you the motivation and encouragement they’ve brought me, and that they send you into this new year feeling full.

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1) Don’t be afraid to be afraid—that fear moves you forward.

2) You don’t have to know the ending when you’re still in the middle.

3) Helping people helps you.

4) Your time will come, just be patient and keep working hard.

5) Don’t ignore opportunities that look different than your expectations.

6) Sometimes all you can ask of yourself is small steps forward.

7) Never stop pursuing the new.

8) It’s never too late to find a new hobby.

9) People will always judge you no matter what, so you might as well be yourself.

10) Your life matters more than you could ever realize.

11) You always have more blessings than you think.

12) Give every day the opportunity to be great.

13) It’s okay to have bad days.

14) Don’t be afraid to push your limits and don’t let yourself be pressured to ignore them.

15) Always. Keep. Trying.

16) When you take the time to really get to know yourself it’s easier to introduce that person to other people.

17) When you love yourself it’s even easier.

18) You are capable of great things.

19) You deserve great things.

20) One of your greatest responsibilities in your life is to fail and make mistakes.

21) You are completely and totally loved.

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Love you, and happy birthday! heavy-black-heart_2764

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10 Easy Ways to Learn Something New Every Day

If you are like me, you love learning. You love dropping fun facts and (as subtly as possible) saying look what I can do! And while 12 years of grade school might have given us somewhat of a distaste for the long winded, multiple choice kind of learning, these days it doesn’t take much for us to learn something new. Oftentimes it will just find us in the middle of an average day and that little light will go on in our heads saying, hey, I didn’t know that!

Call me a nerd but that is a rush.

I love that feeling so much that I actively try to learn something new every day—as many times a day as possible. Any little tidbit of new information I can find, I grab it and hold on tight, and then wait for the perfect opportunity to say, “did you know…” to my friends and family.

So, if you can relate to any of that, or if you’re just curious what kind of information I’m consuming on a daily basis in an attempt to turn my brain into its own Mary Poppins’ bag, here are 10 easy ways to learn something new every day:

 

1) Subscribe to a podcast

I went on my podcast app and counted, I am subscribed to 32 podcasts. THIRTY-TWO. Is this extreme? Am I an addict? Don’t answer that. I love all of my podcasts and I listen to (not all of) them every day. They cover just about every topic in the book, making it easy and fun to learn about a little bit of everything. Some of my favorites include: Ear Hustle, Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet, and Heavyweight

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2) Click on the Google logo

You know how Google often has those decorative versions of their logo on their homepage? Did you know that if you click on those you can learn about the historical icon or event they are honoring? Talk about easy access to fun facts.

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3) Subscribe to an e-newsletter

There is so much information on the Internet, both good and bad, so it’s nice to have someone else wade through it and give you the highlights. I’ve bounced around between newsletters, trying to find one that best fits what I’m looking for and right now my favorite is Next Draft. An email is sent every weekday after lunch and it is organized into ten bullet points of both important current information and interesting articles you might not have read otherwise.

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4) Watch a documentary (on Netflix, Hulu, or even YouTube)

I know, I know, we all have good intentions when we scroll through and add documentaries to our queues, and we all promise to watch them next time because we’re just not in the mood right now. But I encourage you to take a chance on one when you’re looking for something to watch. There is so much good stuff out there! Some of my favorites include: Evil Genius on Netflix, Three Identical Strangers on Hulu, and You’re Not Allowed to Die Here on YouTube.

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5) Go outside

I know this sounds obvious, but there’s no denying it. Our houses and apartments and dorms are wonderful and cozy and safe but there is so much to see and learn when we get outside! Just the other day a group of friends and I walked out to look at the moon and someone held their hand up and said, “did you know that if you can cup the moon in your right hand it’s a waxing moon and if you can cup it with your left it’s a waning moon.” No, I did not know that. But will I now drop it in any conversation about the moon? You’re damn right I will.

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6) Look up a new recipe

One of my favorite things to do is cook, and I love looking up recipes that I can put together with things I find in my fridge. Lucky for us, the Internet is CHOCK-FULL of recipes thanks to all of the wonderful food bloggers of the world. From breakfasts to desserts to gluten free tea party recipes, there is something for every occasion, just waiting for you to dive in.

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7) Download a language learning app

Learning a new language, or at the very least becoming familiar with key words in another language can be so valuable, both in every day life and when you travel. There are tons of apps out there that can teach you practically any language you can think of. My favorite is Duolingo, because it’s free, easy, and fun to use. Plus, an adorable owl named Duo sends me cute reminders to do my daily Spanish homework and it excites me.

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8) Take a different way home

If you do a lot of driving for work, either as part of your job or just in commuting to and from, try a new route. Turn one street early, or get off on a different exit. Expand that mental map and see where different roads lead, you never know what you’ll find along the way!

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9) Ask questions

Whenever you think to yourself, “I wonder how…” or “what is that?” or “when was..” pursue those answers. I can’t tell you how often I ask a question out loud and then immediately Google it. Even if they are little, seemingly meaningless answers they are something and you never know when you might need that something in the future.

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10) Listen

This doesn’t just call for putting on your listening ears, as my mom would say. This calls for using all of your senses. Put your phone down. Pick your head up. Look around, listen up and interact with the environment around you.

17 Things that Have Inspired Me (So Far) This Year

During List-cember—a series of list based posts I do in December—I usually post a blog that lists 25 things that have inspired me throughout the year. I used to only post it once a year, but in July of last year, I realized that there is never really a wrong time to share inspirational things.

So, I’ve made it a biannual thing. And since it’s already July (lol, what?) it’s that time of year! Let’s dive on in.

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1) This 2019 game plan by @hannahbrencher

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2) This song by Maren Morris

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3) This line from the movie Unicorn Store:

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4) The Dawn Wall & Free Solo (and pretty much rock climbing in general)

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5) This #10YearChallenge post by Julianne Hough about finding your authentic self:

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6) This video by Liza Koshy that was equal parts hilarious as it was a fun celebration of peoples’ (weird, but impressive) talents:

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7) The Rise Podcast

I got into this podcast last year, but some episodes from this year have really hit me in the feels. 1200x630bb

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8) You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero

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Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

“How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

“Put yourself out there and you never know what you might learn that will inform your next move, or whom you might meet that will present you with your next opportunity.”

“Do your best wherever you’re at.”

“Everything you do along your journey contributes to where you’re going.”

“Get to the point where you have both unwavering faith and unwavering gratitude for that which you desire.”

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9) This reminder:

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10) The 30 for 30 podcast

(Especially the episode “Six Who Sat” which got me fired up for the marathon.)

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11) The LA Marathon

I wrote an entire blog post to commemorate my experience running the LA Marathon this year and I could probably write 10 more.

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12) Jenna Marbles

She makes videos on YouTube just doing things she likes/has always wanted to try/thought might be funny, etc. and I love it! Here are two of my favorites:

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13) This:

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14) Booksmart

Namely the friendship between the two main characters and the fact that they talk to each other like this:

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15) “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

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16) The US Women’s National Soccer Team

Because, obviously.

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(Photo credit: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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17) This flow chart from Girl, Stop Apologizing

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Here’s to another six months of inspiration heavy-black-heart_2764

Just a Reminder that You Matter

Over the weekend, Disney Channel actor Cameron Boyce died. He was only 20 years old.

While I wasn’t familiar with all of Cameron’s work, I had seen him in Grown Ups and The Descendants series and knew he was a talented guy. When I heard of his passing, my heart went out to his family, unable to comprehend a tragedy of this magnitude. I also thought of his friends and fans and costars and I read through countless tributes and emotional farewells. Then, yesterday, I saw this video posted by his Descendants costar Dove Cameron.

Watching the video, your heart can’t help but ache. Losing someone is impossibly hard, especially someone you love. But as I listened to her describe Cameron and all of the wonderful things that made him him, and all of the reasons why the world was better because he was in it, I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew.

We spend so much time in our lives trying to better ourselves and succeed and move forward and win and improve. We focus on our flaws and our weaknesses while other people marvel at our strengths.

Dove Cameron mentions how kind Cameron was and how that kindness helped not only her, but everyone he showed it to. She talks about how much darkness he saw her through and how much light he brought into the world. More than anything, it seemed, she just wanted to express how much he mattered.

He mattered.

I hope he knew that.

And I hope you know that you matter.

You matter.

The world is a better place because you are in it. And the world would be worse without you. You are making a difference in people’s lives. You are changing people’s lives, just by being you.

You are exactly what someone needs today. You are the reason someone has that memory to smile at. You are the reason someone has the courage to do something they never thought they could.

You matter.

So be kind, love each other, and allow yourself to be loved in return. Shine your light and let the world marvel.