17 things i learned being 17

On November 15th, I turned 18. That is INSANE to me. I am officially an adult. This past year has been all about growing and learning for me. I have definitely changed as a person, friend, writer, blogger, and student. Not only did I get my license, but I also started my first official job, finished my college applications (and even got some acceptances back already), and so much more. I know that I will continue to grow everyday, but I wanted to do this post so that you guys can hear some of my advice (no matter what age).

  1. take care of your body.
  2. do what makes YOU happy
  3. it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out
  4. crying does not make you weak!!
  5. not everyone is meant to stay in your life
  6. be kind to everyone
  7. mistakes are okay
  8. don’t be afraid to show people you care
  9. write everyday
  10. you can say “no” without making up excuses
  11. get off of your phone sometimes
  12. don’t be so negative all the time
  13. don’t let the little things bother you
  14. embrace the future, don’t let it scare you
  15. you are the only one who can make things happen for yourself
  16. stay humble
  17. you are doing just fine

Each of these little lessons/reminders have helped me live a less anxious and happier life. I struggled a lot at the beginning of the year with anxiety and stress, but these tips were really useful. I hope you keep these in mind, and I hope they help you out!

xo, Jessica

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little chat + update!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to write a little post updating you on my life and where I’ve been. My last few posts have been very short, generic, and not very personal.

School has made me extremely busy, especially with this being senior year. It is important for me to keep my grades up for this semester since colleges will see these grades. I have finished all of my college applications, but that took up most of my time in the beginning of October.

I also started a new job at the end of September, about a month from today. That has taken up so much of my time. I used to have my weekends free so I would plan and write out all of my posts. Now I work 8 hour shifts and it is hard to manage writing. When I come home, I am usually exhausted and don’t want to do anything. I am trying to work on my time management now that I have a new responsibility, but adjusting to my work schedule is a bit tricky.

Anyways, my new job has also sparked the creativity inside me a bit. I work at Michaels, so I am constantly surrounded by paint, crafts, and washi tape. I have been using my watercolors a lot this month, so maybe I can share some of my art soon.

I also have a new journal with me coming up in a few blog posts, because I know I haven’t done one in FOREVER.

Overall, I have really felt inspired to create, I just haven’t always found the time to share it. Hopefully I will be able to post more frequently soon, and I will be back on my game!

Thank you all for being so patient.

xx, Jess

change | journal excerpts

Change has always been a good thing to me. I have embraced it with open arms every time. I can not even imagine a life where I am stuck with the same routine day after day. I do not want to sit behind a desk and watch my life pass me by. I want a career where I can explore different paths daily and have new adventures. I’m not sure where life will take me just yet, but I hope that it will bring me to change. Because change is the only constant that I want in my life.

//

I keep telling myself that my life won’t really start until I’m older. When I have a real job, and I’m living on my own. But life is short. And I don’t know how long I’ve got. So what am I waiting for? 17 years of precious time have gone by. It is time to go out and make something of myself. Live a little more. While I still can.

//

Her eyes lit up when she talked about it. She was so passionate about the art she created, and she couldn’t get her mind off of it. The happiness she felt when a paintbrush was in her hand was enough to make anyone smile.

– jess

notes from my journal

i stared up at the white, wispy clouds. the sky was a beautiful shade of ocean blue. you sat beside me and took in all my features. all my imperfections. i turned to look back at your emerald eyes and smiled. we were surrounded by the world, yet you still told me i was the most beautiful sight. i never felt as full and happy as i did in that moment. you handed my all your thoughts wrapped in a neat bow while i let out my deepest secrets in an explosion. we were total opposites. but when you said those 3 words, i knew that opposites really do attract.

i fall in love with the idea i create of people, rather than who they truly are. i have too much faith in people and in love. i am definitely a romantic. i try so hard to make relationships work, expecting people to change. i get my hopes up and end up disappointed every. single. time. it also makes it so much harder to get over someone. i only want to believe they are good-hearted, rather than face reality. but i would always choose to be full of hope than completely hopeless. because maybe true love really does exist.

you don’t have to have it all figured out. in fact, you shouldn’t. life is messy. life is unpredictable. things don’t ever go according to plan. just embrace every moment with a positive mind and see where the world takes you. the universe always has a plan.

you finally told me everything i always wanted to hear, but i realized it didn’t matter. i’m not the same person as a year ago. i know who i am and what i want. it just isn’t you anymore. and i’m sorry to myself that it took so long to realize my worth. but i’m okay now. i finally got the closure i needed so desperately and i can move on with my life. it truly is freeing to feel this way. i can finally be happy and be myself again.

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“loves me not, loves me” // book review

*I received this book for review, but all opinions are my own*

Loves Me Not, Loves Me by Brittany Julian is a poetry collection split into 2 parts. The first part, “Heartache’s Interlude” focuses on heartbreak and the pain caused by it. It also details the healing and forgiveness you must do for yourself.

The second half is about love. A main focus in this book is that you can’t have love without heartbreak, and vice versa. You need to go through some hardships to be able to feel love completely.

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I really, really enjoyed this book. The poetry is amazing and relatable. Even if you have never gone through heartbreak or experienced true love, you can feel the words the author is writing nonetheless.

I haven’t read any poetry books in a couple of months, but this one reminded me why I love them so much.

Here is one of my favorites:
please don’t convince yourself
that you are too complex
to be loved
you are not a problem
waiting to be solved
there is no algorithm
for us humans
who fall in love
no way to calculate
if the love will be worth the loss
in the months to come
or if all the frogs i’ve kissed
have led me to meet
one f****** prince

If you want to purchase the book yourself, check it out here!

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my traveler’s notebook! (new journal)

*Before I begin, I just want to say I am on vacation, so the next couple of posts (including this one) are scheduled. I will reply to comments when I get back, in case you were wondering!*

There’s this new thing that I recently re-discovered called a traveler’s notebook and if you haven’t heard of it before, let me explain. Basically, it’s a book-cover that comes with elastic strings inside that you can use to add different inserts. You can put multiple journals, folders, pockets, paper, etc. inside of it and keep it together in one book.

I fell in love with the idea when I started watching some Youtube videos on it. I highly suggest looking up traveler’s notebook on youtube to understand what I’m talking about (because it is so hard to describe in text versus video).

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I thought I would share how I set mine up and what I keep inside! To start, I bought a canvas cover notebook from Michaels by Jane Davenport. There are a couple of styles to choose from but I got the plain white one to decorate myself. I painted it with acrylics, and the black is with Sharpie. The paint job is obviously very mediocre, but I am happy with it.

You can get a traveler’s notebook from a variety of places, but I chose this one because it was cheaper than the original Traveler’s brand. Since I wasn’t sure if I would like using this setup, I didn’t want to invest a ton of money into it yet.

 

I also bought some of the Jane Davenport inserts to go with it. I got the watercolor paper because I paint a lot, and I thought I could use this for art as well as writing. I had to pick up the pockets that Jane Davenport has, too, because I want to take this along with me when I travel. With the pockets I can put some stickers and pictures inside that I want to use. I am headed to North Carolina as you read this, for a week by the ocean. This will be perfect to take all my supplies with me.

Let’s take a look at the layout now!

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The first thing I started with was one of the folder inserts I mentioned earlier, and inside I put some stickers that I got from PearTeaStickers on Etsy. They were kind enough to send me some and they are absolutely gorgeous! You can see below all the supplies I got from them. Definitely make sure to check them out because I know I will be buying more from them in the future. Plus the quality is really nice.

 

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They also sent me some journal inserts, and you can see the first one here. It is the Hip Girls one, so each page has a different image of a girl and the drawings are so stunning. I will use this one for my writing.

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Then I put the watercolor paper inside so that I can paint while on my trip. I am so excited to use this to draw the scenery around me where I am staying.

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In these next two pictures, you can see the back of the first folder and the front of the second one. In the back I put a couple of envelopes with little cards I received and a picture I found about creativity.

On the front pocket of the yellow folder, I included some magazine clippings I found because I use those a lot when I am journaling.

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Here you can see the second notebook I got from PearTeaStickers, which is so beautiful, once again. I also have a small pocket that I got from AsianVintageTn shop, also on Etsy, as well as the grid paper notebook. They are both a little small for this Traveler’s Notebook, but it works just fine! I am going to use the grid paper as a to-do list and bullet journal! Plus, they were kind enough to send some the Midori 5th anniversary stickers which are absolutely adorable! I am so excited to use the products.

Huge thank you to both shops for supplying them! Please make sure to check them out, it would mean so much 🙂

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I am so happy with the way my traveler’s notebook looks, and I can not wait to begin using it this week. Let me know what you think of it 🙂

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a writing update.

As you may remember, I just wrote a post explaining my excitement for Camp NaNoWriMo. And I was beyond excited. But it’s time to be honest with myself.

I’ve been in a huge writing slump (writer’s block, i guess) and I haven’t picked up a pen in weeks, besides the occasional line or two. I thought that joining camp would give me a reason to write, and that I would feel even more motivated. Boy was I wrong. Forcing myself to write just generates horribly written lines that I end up deleting either way.

So we are now 1/2 way through the month, and I ended up re-writing the first 2 pages of my novel instead of writing more. I am just not into it right now. I really hope I can get out of this strange mood soon because it is not like me to not want to write. I feel strange and everything feels out of place. I haven’t even wanted to blog.

I am leaving for vacation at a beach house in North Carolina in exactly one week. I hope that time near the ocean will inspire me once again, and maybe I will get some writing done. If not, I am not stressing anymore. I want to focus on myself and listen to what my mind is telling me.

I will hopefully continue working on my novel in the near future because I do like what I have so far. If I have more writing updates, I will definitely post them.

Anyways, good luck to everyone who is on track to finish their goals for camp!

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Camp NaNoWriMo!

I never thought I would actually be saying this, but I’m writing a book! I decided (very last minute) to join Camp NaNoWriMo this year and try to actually start writing. I’ve always wanted to sit down and write a novel, but I never got around to it.

What is Camp NaNoWriMo? If you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), then this is a less strict version of that. Basically, it is a site where you sign up and set a goal of number of words you want to write in July. My goal is only 10k words because I’ve never written an actual novel, and I want to start small. This way I won’t be too hard on myself if I can’t write too often. Plus I am going on vacation on the last week of July, so I don’t think I will be writing much then.

You also get to pick a cabin (or get assigned one) with a group of other campers! Your cabin mates are there to help keep you inspired and motivated. The concept is really adorable, and I am excited to begin!

My novel is still in its beginning stages. I started with one concept on July 1st, and I wrote about 400 words until I decided I wanted to change it completely. So yesterday I wrote an entirely new outline with a plot I like a lot better. I am now at about 500 words, and I plan on writing 1000 today.

I don’t have a synopsis written yet, but that is my next goal.

Here is a small snippet:
At night, she often looked up at the bright, night sky. The twinkle of the scattered stars put her in a trance. Her name was Summer Rhodes, but she never resembled the warmth and sunshine of that season. No, she was more of an Autumn. Her hair was like fire, and it flowed all the way down to her hips. Her eyes were a Caribbean green. She was beautiful. It was the middle of the night, and, as she often did, Summer climbed through the window of her small, 2 bedroom apartment to gaze out at the darkness. The wind was cold against her body, and her arms shivered at the touch of it. Fresh air was what she needed. It slowed her breathing and calmed her heart. Nothing could steady her overflowing thoughts better. 

Let me know what you think down below!
I will post updates every now and then, if I have something to talk about!

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{very} mini journal flip through

I received a stunning journal from Tremundo Journals a few days ago, and I absolutely had to talk about it. I chose a mini canvas notebook with a wolf print on the cover. This design really spoke to me because of the sunset and the moon in the background. Two of my favorite things. The quality is amazing. The pages are thin but my watercolor paints did not bleed through, and neither did my Staedtler pens. It is pretty small which is perfect for carrying around with you everywhere you go. Overall, it is just a really nice journal.

 

 

If you are thinking about journaling, you should check out Tremundo journals and try this one out! You can get free shipping in the US with the code “JUJ17” until July 31.

I wanted to show you guys what some of the pages I designed look like so far!

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things i still think about

When the sky turns dark, and I am all alone, I still reminisce the days I spent with you. These are the things I still think about.

The way your hands swept over every crater and bump on my face.
How my eyes lit up just by hearing your name.
How happy we were that we would be forever.
Your hand would grip mine with such confidence, and I never wanted you to let go.
You would kiss me goodnight, and tell me how beautiful I am.
The warmth of your breath on my neck was enough to give me goosebumps.
And how minutes apart were too difficult to bear.
How we talked about our plans and thought we had a future.
And my stomach did flips every time you looked at me.
Your touch energized me, all the way to my soul.
All the late conversations we had at night under the stars.
I will always remember the way you made me feel.
I was full of joy and laughter.

But most of all, I think about how forever quickly turned to never.
And goodnight kisses just turned to goodbye.
Oh, how we changed and grew up.
Never finding time for each other anymore.
The way I felt cold without you by my side,
and how I felt like a piece of me was missing without your arm in mine.
Minutes turned to days,
and neither of us thought of stopping by.
The messages stopped coming, and I stopped checking my phone.
My eyes were dull, and my heart felt so, so empty.
How naive and foolish we were to think that we had forever.
But there was nothing we could have done differently.
Because the universe had a plan, and we were not meant to be.

So when the sun comes up, I brush away the tears, and I forget about the nights I spent with you.

But forgetting is hard to do.

 

*This is all a work of fiction, I promise it has nothing to do with my life. It is just a little poem I wrote after reading a book, haha,*

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