Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A Wedding or A Show??

I am an engaged woman. And since March, I have learned many things about weddings I had no idea about. I thought you would like to some input about these things as well.

1. You pay to go to weddings as if you are going to a Broadway show. 

I thought guests giving money at the wedding was a sweet thing people do because the couple is going to be starting their life together. But OH NO. More often it is expected that you pay for your ticket, I mean for being invited. I spoke to a woman who said she's gone as far as looked up or CALLED the venue beforehand and based the check she gives the couple off of the average plate cost listed. Even if you can't make it but you RSVP'd, you "must" send a check to the couple for the amount of their plate cost. 

My opinion is that this is ridiculous. I said it, be mad or be glad. I don't care. I think it is ridiculous that weddings (which don't get me started on the history of what they are in the first place) has a place in society still. I think it's more ridiculous that couples use a "joyous event" as a source of income. It's also a little disgusting.

If you want to celebrate your love, celebrate it without a price tag over everyone's head. Don't spend $100,000 because you expect everyone to pay you back for such a great show. You're not Lin Manuel Miranda. 

2. EVERYONE thinks they are invited

I have never said, "Oh I better be invited to that wedding". I wish people would do the same in regards to my wedding. It's really annoying, it puts me on the spot, it adds to stress and automatically makes me not want to invite you. You're being selfish. 
(I guess if I was a bride in it for the money, I should reply, "Well.. how much you got?") 
I said selfish because you're not considering the person you're asking when you say that. Especially if it isn't in a joking way. "I better..." It's so entitled and so self-centered. Get over yourself. 

3. Parents show their TRUEST selves

Of course I need to tread lightly on this one, but if you've read my writing before then you know I will still say what's on my mind even in the kindest of words.

          Let me focus on my father.*

I don't publicly speak about my relationship with my father but he is in fact in my life. Not overbearingly, but still present. He has his life and I have mine. With that said, my dad has been the perfect example of what you want your parent to be like when planning a wedding in this century. He isn't paying for everything or showering me with everything I want, but he has given mature insight and advice. You know? What you expect from a parent.

To give an example, I will share that many relatives on my side and my partner's side will not be invited to our ceremony. Each parent has at least one close relative that is included in that disappointment. My father is the only one who hasn't made that decision even harder once he found out (for him it's sibling yal). SO, I say this... you learn a lot about the parents. Good and bad. I will leave it at that. 

*I love my mom very much and she is a Momzilla FOR REAL, but she's also surprised me at how much she cares more about our marriage than the wedding. 


Overall, I am not the "ideal" bride and I am very much okay with that. I want to only invite guests who have personally had a positive impact on my relationship with my partner. I want them to love us as a unit and not only as individuals. I also don't want them to reject coming to celebrate with us because they feel obligated to pay to get in. As much as I would like more people at my ceremony, I think it was destined to be a smaller one. I've always wanted to develop a community of people I trust and loved to help raise my future child. Why not continue developing that community with this very significant event?



Here are a few YouTube channels I found over the weekend and watch a ton of. Enjoy!

Moriah Robinson



Jamie Wolfer




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Are you there? It's me, Selena

As I eat my very sad lunch at my desk, I think about how "it's been a while" is such an understatement. It has been about 7 months. Then again, that's how long it was before that. Anyway, shall we with updates?



Travel Show in Philadelphia

the City & Beyond

As I said in my last post, I have been traveling and making videos for YouTube. My partner and I have gone as far as attending VidCon and meeting others who are in the YouTube world. It's been one of the greatest decisions of my life (maybe Top 5). 

This year has been all about a "Year of Travel" while having a 9 to 5 stationary job position. Every month we have visited another city and posted a video about it. Then quickly we realized our viewers were going to want a better understanding of HOW we accomplish these trips. Therefore we added Talk Videos to serve as informative videos about the "how to" of travel.

Our numbers goal is to obtain 100 subscribers by the end of the year and to create 12 videos this year. So far we have 58 subscribers and we are already pass 12 videos. It's been an exciting adventure. 





























Women Create





Took me a long time to come up with that name. A support group for women who create. Simple right?

I had this idea for a little while and finally decided to just jump in and create something now even if it wasn't perfect. My idea is to have a place where women can gather to vent, share and listen. Many times it feels like I am my most unhappy if I am not writing. Things don't make as much sense. I'm not as polite 👼. The list goes on. And since my traveling last year and this year, I have caught myself wishing I had a group that would go spend a week abroad to just get inspired and create.

Last Fall, I created this group with women I already knew. Three other women who illustrated, sculpted, and filmed. All of them doing beautiful things. And once every two months we take a temperature on all the work we are or aren't doing. Because lets face it, women creators have a little bit more of a difficult time to find time to create. They become girlfriends, wives, mothers, in many cases. Not to mention have obligations at work or with family. The list can go on.

It has been hard to get the four of us to be consistent but I am determined to continue to develop this idea. If you are interested in joining or just visiting, leave me a comment below.


Personal Life

There are absolutely amazing and breathtaking events that has occurred in my life in 2018. Some breathtaking in a great way, some not so great. I don't want to spend too much time on this because some things my family and framily may not want me to share, but I want to make sure I continue to be as transparent as I can. 

Here is the good and not so good in my personal life:

- I am engaged
- Family members who had major and minor hospital visits/stays
- Navient took me off of my rate reduction plan mid-year
- Had to postpone a few destinations for further in the future
- Loved ones had major financial trouble
- Major car maintenance
- Medical issues
- Increase in consumer debt
- Have been juggling side hustle jobs between 3 different apps
- A theft caused me to be minus $250 plus the money I had to spend on top of that

I think this list could go on, but why? I'm not here to make my life seem more interesting and yours less. Just think about all the things you endured this year and assume I've had about the same level of excitement.

The reason for this post is to show that our lives aren't that different. I wasn't given a special life that makes things easier for me. Though my determination has been a driving force, my resilience is annoying, and my persistence contagious, I am still only human. Much like you are. So lets not forget it.

My plans for the next year are still in development, but I'll tell you right now, you're going to be amazed. I will have to say "No" a lot and some folks will be mad, but that's okay. My focus will be on bettering the future.

What have you been up to?

Image result for thinking emoji




















Monday, February 12, 2018

#ThatsHarassment





Hello!

It's been a while huh? Well, I have been very busy with personal life stuff and business stuff. Of course, I wanted to write on here but wasn't sure what to say for a while. Most of my time has been spent traveling, recording video footage, editing that footage and making Youtube videos. Yes! Youtube videos. I am now on Youtube filming videos about travel and could not be more excited. I don't have plans on becoming a big deal Youtuber, but you know me, it's a tool to accomplish a bigger picture. 

With the title of this blog, I'm sure you realize I am not here for a fun update but because something moved me enough to revert back to my blogging roots. A co-worker of mine shared these with me last week and I was in awe of them. These #ThatsHarassment videos are great ways to aware men and women what harassment includes. It's amazing in a way. 

I wanted to write a post that points out KEY moments in a couple of these videos. It's the moment the man (who could be a woman in some situations I'm sure) tries to manipulate the women. Or should I say, possibly does manipulate the woman. It's such a talent and really upsets me because I know from experience how it feels when a man tries to make you seem absurd for thinking something. In this case, uncomfortable or insulted.  


2:51- "I know you don't think a lot of yourself, but..." 

Raise your hand if you've heard that one before? I knew a guy like this guy, but he was in college at the time. "Oh, we don't want the little guy getting confused." Um, then maybe you shouldn't have been the one to confuse him. Why is your penis out of your pants? 

Anyway, he tries to pick at her insecurities to get what he wants. There may have been a woman in the past this worked with and so he did it again and again when he was the one horny and insecure. I wish there was another word other than harassment to categorize this because it's almost mental and emotional abuse. He's hoping she'll just take this and know her place. What do you think?

  
1:48- "I was totally showing you how they are" 
2:02- "For a second there, you turned around like you were going to give me... literally some feminist rant. Bullshit."
2:58- When he's whispering in her ear and then says, "I've seen worst."

My boyfriend and I watched this one together and he had a great point. This coworker used Neuro-Linguistic Programming on her, the Disassociative Sales Technique. Cause his actions are not his own, it's "other guys", they're the worst and not him. He's simply just showing her, he's not actually grabbing her butt.

Here are a few examples.



And I mentioned to my boyfriend how he already dismissed her response or reaction because anything negative she now says is a "feminist rant" and she's no longer "cool". He sets it up so that she second guesses whether or not she was actually harassed, given a lesson in Bar 101 or hit on. 



2:58- "I was just trying to show how much I appreciate you."
3:41- "You know what it was? I just wanted to show you how great you are. How good you are." 

Then give her the day off unexpectedly or pay for her lunch. What the heck? This one in my opinion and another coworker's opinion, is very hard to fully use as a good example. The female seemed like she kissed him back, which was a bad move. And then used her boyfriend as a reason to not continue the kissing. Which was another bad move but no one should blame her for. As I got older, I started to realize using that as an excuse (whether you are making up the fact that you are with someone or not) just encourages the guy to try harder.

Even if she did kiss him back, he should have never stopped her at the door and insisted on more physical contact. No matter what, that's not okay.

----

Overall, I wanted to share these because I think it's important that we are aware of different views of harassment. There is one with a photographer and it's pretty repulsive. I felt horrible for the model. It's another case of, I wish we'd use another word other than harassment for that. It's definitely abusive... abuse of power mostly.

As a woman who was once young and had very unhealthy relationships with boys, I can honestly say some of this is circumstantial which I hate saying. But it is true. It really all depends on how it is interpreted or received by the other person (man or woman, boy or girl). Yes, women are the most likely to be the one who is harassed, but we can't dismiss other genders and go on a "feminist rant". We have to acknowledge and change as a society. And as a society say that this behavior is not okay for anyone to do.

I"ll see you soon with more content I'm sure. Maybe I will write more about my journey to creating my new businesses. We'll see. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

How My____ Life all started

I think I wrote this about 5 years ago. Every word is very true. Reading it actually made me fall in love with this world I created. The people, the relationships and the even the setting. This really puts things in perspective for the last installment that I have been trying to write for 4 years (wow!).

Read about my past views on the characters from "My Blank Life".


It's funny how every character in my book reminds me of a friend in my past and in my present. Of
course they remind me of friends from my past, all of them were based off of them! Every single one of them.

Many people say Samantha reminds them of me, but in actuality, there are definitely things I would not do that she does. She frustrates me sometimes. I think I was more like her back in the day but now, not so much. But I'm pretty sure I will always have Marlins and Justin's in my life. Unfortunately I've never found my Ryan.

Ericka- She's not a large presence in this book but I have written about her more in the first book for the trilogy. She's got some sass. What she's thinking and what she believes, is always said. Ericka is a truly good friend, which you see when she does the sleepover for her bestie Samantha.

Dennis- He's one of my favorite characters. The friends I usually have that resemble him are my
older brother figures. At the time of me writing My____ Life, I had a "older brother" whom I loved dearly. He was my world as Dennis is Samantha's.

Joshua- Love him. He also resembles the guys I'm close to as well. They're like brothers. Sometimes act a little immature but so sentimental and compassionate.

The way I started to write this book is kind of funny. One of my close friends (from church while I
was in Middle School) and I randomly were kind of bored and said we should write a story about our friends. At this point, I had been writing short stories and then stopped a little by the time Middle School rolled around. I was too busy chasing boys. I wrote like one page of this story with my friend… maybe 5. And then left it. One day my dad found it and he was alarmed. This was because (Spoiler) the story started off with Samantha in a towel kissing her boyfriend, Marlin. Yup and Daddy wasn't too fond of that since the names Samantha and Selena resemble each other. So I quickly explained and hid it at my friend's house.

One day I was bored and this was my Senior Year in Middle School or Freshmen Year in High School. I
started to write a story that took place a year after the one I had started to write prior about Samantha. And I couldn't put my pen down. I was captivated by this story I was telling. Of course life got in the way and had me writing off and on because I was getting at that age where boredom meant go hang out with
friends. So it took yearrrssss for me to finish that story. But I finally did in college. I believe that the experiences I had within those years helped me make this story more than a traditional teen girl novel (which is the narrator looking for love and finding it after triumphs). Of course My ____ Life has some similarities
to that but I put a little twist on it.

Whew that was a lot. Well it has been a while since I last wrote. So there you go.

It's scary how much that still sounds like me. I love it! My favorite part is that I have been looking for a Ryan my whole life, but I think I didn't realize I needed more of a Justin. Back then I believed that Justin was this average guy who was always shoved to the side and never spoke up about liking a girl. But when I sit and think about what Justin could have been like if he were still around in the story... I feel like he's exactly what most women want. Of course we never realize it until we're older. Hence, why I snagged myself a Justin and not a Ryan in my life. In the next book, we will see how High School romances takes on the adult world. It's not easy. I'm not sure what will happen with Samantha and Ryan's relationship in the end.

Another thing I want to point out is the part I say about My Blank Life not being an average teen fiction. Well... I would like to toot my own horn but I do feel like my two books ended up resembling a lot of other teen girl fictions out there. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I do believe my gift of writing dialogue makes these characters more like friends. Not just characters. And that's a really cool aspect of these stories.

As I'm writing this last book for Samantha's world, I am writing my own story about my life. A memoir about my trials and hardships, as well as, successes and accomplishments. It's REALLY difficult. I am going to have to sit and speak with people I probably don't care to speak with. But to deliver the best story that will help other women and teen girls, it's worth it. Look out for updates on that as well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In Laws vs In Loves



I've decided to start writing more about what's around me. And right now, I've been consumed with my in-laws. Which are not actually connected to be by law but love. So maybe they're more my "in-loves". The reason they are in my life is because of my love for their family member. Get it?

For those who have in-laws, bless your heart child. Please tell me it gets better. My mom says that sometimes it does. Sometimes?? I guess I'll take it. It's actually crazy that love could make you join a union with people you would've never socialized with otherwise.When you think about it, it's kind of ridiculous. But we'd all do a lot because of love.

My in-loves aren't the worst but they hurt my head sometimes. My uncle said I shouldn't allow the situations to, and he's absolutely correct. I am the one who is allowing things to become a headache or big deal. It's not like my boyfriend's mom is trying to kill me in my sleep. If she were, then that would actually be a problem. It's not like she even dislikes me. Instead, she has traveled with me out of the country twice, fed me, let me partake in family functions and even reportedly defended me. So why so stressed with the topic of in-laws? Cause sometimes my partner's family hits my raw spots. I'm reading a book called "Hold me tight" and there is a part about raw spots. You're supposed to discuss them with your partner in an attempt to make each other aware of and sensitive to the others' feelings.

I've done this with my bf but not his family. A part of me feels like it's a defense mechanism to make sure no one now tries to intentionally hit my raw spots. Although I don't think they intentionally would, it's still a hard defense to break. Maybe being vulnerable with your new family is how you prevent too much headache. Let things roll right off of you. Or if something really hurts your feelings, speak up! Also, never take second-hand or third-hand info as fact or truth. Things like this better guard your heart and mind. You don't have to open up your full self (meaning every single part of you) but at least open your heart. Closing yourself makes you part to blame for not having a close relationship with your in-laws or in loves. Think about it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

New businesses

"Currently I am developing new business plans and figuring out what makes sense for me."

I wrote that line in a draft on December 13, 2015. Wow. I am still working on new ideas. New business models. New sources of income, as well as, new ways of using my brilliant mind. I have looked into "side-hustles" I would be interested in and I will share a few ideas I have used and friends have used.

1. Pet sitter- This has been an amazing way to earn some extra cash. I use the money for this one student loan I am trying to pay off. It's projected to take me 16 years to pay it off. I'm hoping with added payments, I can cut it down. Even if it is by half. You can do anything from boarding the pet, dropping in and checking on the pet, to dog walking, or day care service.

2. Cleaning service- I have a friend who was using an app to find places to clean nearby. She would do it on her lunch break from her full-time job or even on the weekend. Eventually, there were some issues with the app she was using and she decided to freelance on her own. But overall, it's a great idea. If you hate cleaning, this may not be the option for you, but if you don't mind it then I think it's an easy way to bring in a couple of hundred dollars a week.

3. Freelancing- As some of you know, I do freelance social media management from time to time. One client for me can be as low as $150/ month, but not any lower than that usually. Therefore one client can pay one to two bills that now is not coming directly from my paycheck. It's really awesome. I prefer using the money for student loans these days, but it's really up to the person. Maybe travel? :)

Honorable mention for getting a part-time job at a franchised business. I had an old co-worker who worked at a gym for a few months to save money for his trip to France. It was impressive how much he could blow on his trip because he had those extra savings.

My future plans for new business ventures I want to get into include, property management of my family home and t-shirt store. My grandparents own two homes and I think both can make more money for them. I'm developing a plan to make it another retirement fund. And as for the t-shirts, I think it will be a great "create it and then leave it" business. Low maintenance businesses are my fave businesses. In the future, I have my sights on a brick and mortar business but that's hush hush until it's a reality.









Here are more ideas you can look into: renting out your home, investing in someone else's business venture, selling items from your home, selling items you create, online tutoring, babysitting, lifeguarding, and more. Think... what would I do if I were 18 again but with all the technology that's available now?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Travel Tips Part Deux

Colosseo. Photo taken with Fujifilm x100t. 



How fitting is it that my last post was about Superwomen? In my life, I have been doing just that. The emergency oxygen masks haven't come down yet, but I am well aware that the "fasten seat belt" sign is on. That's what I've been dealing with for the past 6 months. And now I thought it was time to make a re-appearance. I miss you, ladies and gentlemen.

This post is not going to be about Superwomen though or my problems. I am going to move onto something more fun. Travel! A lot of people have asked about my recent trip to Europe. I spent 10 days in Rome, Venice, Barcelona and Lisbon. It was my first long vacation. Felt a little strange being away for so long, but I kinda loved it. Okay okay, I really loved it. There were a few things that I realized about "traveler" me. For example, by the time my boyfriend and I reached Barcelona, we needed a little break. Not like going our separate ways, but more so hanging with more people. Thankfully we met up with two friends in Barcelona. Got a chance to catch up with someone new and not bicker about how fast the other one is walking ahead of the other (Yes, that happened... a few times). 

I'm going to share pre-vacation tasks that really helped make most of our trip really smooth and really affordable. 


Image result for airbnb
1. Airbnb- I can't say it enough. I know my last travel tip post mentioned it, but I have to list it again. I like having Airbnb private rooms for my stays in foreign countries that I haven't been to before. We did this in Rome, Venice, and Barcelona. All of them had amazing hosts. The one I had in Rome was a gentleman who studied archaeology. As you can probably imagine, he had really unique suggestions of where to go in Rome. 


2. Camera- Buy a good one. Actually, buy a perfect fit for you. I recently purchased a Fujifilm x100T. Guys! Listen to me, I just went through my photos after being home for 2 weeks... I felt like I was reliving the trip. I'm a photographer; have been since I was about 8 years old. Therefore, maybe that's why this was so important to me. Even so, have a camera with you because you will want to remember your time away. Yes, you can use your cell phone but why??? 


3. Data Plan- I have the almighty T-mobile, who I believe kills it with international coverage. It's the best feeling when your phone works overseas. You get that oh so great message. 






If you plan on traveling a lot, get a carrier that is travel-friendly. I do not understand why you wouldn't. Alternatively, at least have the phone cracked. Really? (See what I did there?) Using wifi is the runner-up to not having an international data plan. If you're going to be in Europe, you will be fine. If you are in a rural area, at least make sure your Airbnb or hotel is equipped with it. 

4. Reviews- You're into the latest gossip but you can't go on a few websites and find out the "deets" about where you're staying, eating, or spending your money? If you are looking into package deals for ANYTHING, look up how it went for other people. If you are booking a flight months to a year before your trip, ask google for results of how it went for other travelers who did the same thing. And before you read them, decide what your criteria are. For example, I am the type of person that will dismiss reviews about restaurants that are not about the food. That means delivery, customer service, and crowds but not limited to those. Therefore decide for yourself what's a deal breaker. 

5. More homework- What I do in my home is watch a gazillion episodes of travel shows about the place I am traveling to. My cat and boyfriend are probably sick of it. For my last trip, I decided to add YouTube videos into the mix (why did I never think of that before). It was exactly what I needed. Everything from packing light for a 10 day vacation to travel hacks I may need. These videos actually made a huge difference in our travel. One topic I searched for a lot was "tips on pickpockets in Rome and Barcelona" (Thank you Wolters World). Read articles/blogs/books, watch videos/documentaries/TV shows, ask advice, listen to podcasts.... whatever you need for preparing. 

I should stop there. Save some for another post or even for my new travel blog idea with the boyfriend. Many things to come, just need to plan accordingly.

Next blog will be up soon. I promise!


Proofread a bit. Sorry if there are still mistakes.