Tag Archives: introspection

The Common Question on Blogging: Profession or Pastime?

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Do you consider yourself a “professional” blogger? Why or why not? What does that mean to you?

Many define the act of being a professional as “one who receives payment for the work they produce”, but the definition, according to Google, our lovely and highly-reliable search engine, defines “blogging” as “having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful”. I don’t believe that you have to receive your primary source of income from something in order to be leaning more toward profession. Am I skillful? I would like to think so. I’ve been told I’m skillful, and I do consider myself a jack of many trades. I would also go as far as to say that I invest a tremendous chunk of my time and energy toward this particular journey in my life, so I personally do consider my writing and blogging as somewhat of a profession. I feel that, in an idealistic world, there’d be about 10 extra hours each day for me to put forth toward this long-term project and that I would bring in at least some pocket change when I’ve fully established myself, but I know and accept the fact that building that kind of literary empire and being able to create a community among my readers is easier said than done and will take plenty more years to establish. I am in no rush to develop my skills and expand my audience to a more diverse range, nor am I discouraged by the bumps I’ve run into along the way. Writing takes time and patience, just like many of the things we’ve learned to do. Learning a language takes time, riding a bike takes practice. Many of the abilities we possess today were not “second nature” from the start, and I believe that blogging is no different. It takes passion, determination, and the ability to accept failure. Yes, there will be failure at times. In the beginning of this journey, I couldn’t help feeling discouraged by the lack of an audience. I felt like I was writing in an empty room. No feedback. It was me, myself, and I. But I’ve become more skillful at exhibiting my work, about my marketing my abilities, and about growing what I believe to be a little sub-community within the blogging community. I probably spend about 5-6 hours a day working toward improving my writing and my blog, whether through editing, marketing, sharing, or interacting. Even though I consider myself a professional when it comes to my work, I consider this also to be a major pastime. I believe that my love for creating and exploring has brought me to writing and that desire has kept me going strong from the founding of my blog to its current state. I don’t see this as a struggle or a chore. It’s an effective exploration of myself, and regardless of whether I define it as a profession or a pastime, it’s a major chunk of who I am today and the milestones I hope to reach in my future.

How do you define yourself as a blogger?

Leave a comment below!

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The Terrible (And Relatively Tolerable) Truths About Being Twenty

Twenty. It’s an awkward age. And I thought I was awkward then. Psh. I’ve only blossomed. When I was younger, I always thought that twenty was going to be such a grand thing. I was going to have everything in my life together, wrapped neatly in a white picket fence and bow. Well, not yet, but on my way toward the like. But as a current twenty year old, I can honestly say that it isn’t as glamorous as it seems (self-kick to the childhood). Here are a few terrible truths about being twenty that I never would’ve even thought about as a kid, that I now know to be inevitably true. The fantasy has officially been extinguished.

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1. Life: “You need to get your act together. You’re an ADULT. You need to have job experience. Nobody’s gonna take you seriously unless you start taking on more than your schedule can hold. Do it for ME–I mean….employers.” Love always, Your Parents (and supposedly your greatest support system. Hrm. It’s just tough love. Right? Riiiight?)

Reality Check: You’re too young to have a full-time occupation but still too old to “babysit”. At this point, it would just be weird (“You little slacker, you. Nobody’s gonna look at that babysitting job on your resume and say, “Wow, this kid’s a catch. He can whip up snacks and make sure kids don’t die while their parents “visit grandma for dinner”. Hurry, grab him while he’s still available. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! WHY ARE YOU NOT ON THE PHONE WITH HIM AS WE SPEAK?! These qualifications are rare.”). If you’re not an intern for a major corporation by 20 (If you’re not already owning it by now, because you should really be trying to get ahead of the pack, you slacker), you’re the epitome of a failure. Embrace the failure stink. It’s all that you’ll ever know.

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2. Life: “You know Josh? Do you remember little ol’ Josh? Well, Josh works for the FBI now–he’s in charge of the FBI–oh excuse me, he CREATED the FBI. And he’s only 19. And he’s also cured cancer, built homes for the poor, completely ended world hunger, and invented a flying car, all in one weekend. Could you imagine what he could do in two?! Josh was always such a good boy, but wow! Josh is so great now! Why can’t you be like Josh? You should call Josh. Hang out with Josh. Love Josh. Love him. Josh. Josh. Josh. Josh. Joshjoshjoshjoshjosh….(“Josh” chant that leaves you in a state of eternal hell, kind of like the ending to the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” chant at the end of his intro. Ring a bell?)” (The name “Josh” is hypothetical, but I guess if you’re an awesome Josh, I’m talking about you, buddy. You’re making my parents and everyone with high expectations of me hate my freakin’ guts. Good job. HOPE YOU’RE PROUD.)

Reality Check: We all know a Josh. Ugh. Kinda wish he’d go away and take his Facebook full of all of his stupid milestones with him. He makes my own major accomplishments look like mere blips on the radar, and then I get verbally paddled (with a gentle voice occasionally to cushion the blow) because he’s the next young genius of geniuses in all of Geniusville. This is why Netflix exists. Not to entertain us (me). It’s so we (I) can wallow in our (my) disappointed existence because Josh ALREADY FIXED ALL THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS SO THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO DO. JOSH HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT, DOESN’T HE?! But think of it this way. Because of Josh and all of his perfections that you lack, your services are no longer needed. You’re free. Roam, my child.

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3. Life: “Here, have some homework. Wanna hang with friends? Here, have some homework. Got some dishes to do? How about some homework? Family is packing the van and driving for several hours, updating you every five seconds to ensure that you’re waiting at the apartment like a dog that hasn’t been fed in months, so they can see you for the first time in what feels like centuries? It’s a great time for a research paper that has to be a minimum (minimum. not maximum.) of 800 pages, single spaced, due obviously tonight. That’s enough time, right? That was rhetorical, by the way. Eh, who cares. I most certainly don’t care.” -Life

Reality Check: Any and every time you have plans, there will be some homework knocking on your door. True fact. The only way to fight against the buildup is to either get ahead or build a pillow fort out of your whole apartment and become a total shut in, avoid eye contact with your roommate who already thinks you’re a nutcase, and close off all connections to the real world. Nothing can come with you on this journey of seclusion. No laptop, no ipod, and no, not even the smart phone. That phone will know if you’re hiding, and it will notify all of your contacts (including Facebook friends, maybe even the ones you don’t like and don’t know why you ever added) that you’ve completely lost your marbles, as the newest feature of the newest iPhone obviously does. Before you know it, they’ll all come ruthlessly banging on your paper-thin door begging you to gather some sense. Just kidding. You’re gonna die alone in there. With a heavy head and an empty stomach. Nobody is going to realize you disappeared. All because you didn’t want to do your homework. Kinda seems silly now, doesn’t it? Just whip out the 800 page paper. It’ll only take you about an hour. Or a million hours. Something like that. I’m not good with numbers.

Parents: “See, Josh was never afraid to–“

Me: “SHUT UP. Just shut up”.

Parents: “But Josh always did his homework before it was due and he still managed to–“

*mysterious disappearance not caused by prior events/conversations at all but definitely by something else, yeah*

*Oh no, where did my parents go? Oh it was an accident. Oh it happened all of a sudden. Oh*

 Can you relate?

We can bask together. Share if you dare.

It’s weird to think we’re all a product of our surroundings…

We just pick things up from around us, and glue it to our bodies and personalities. Voila. It becomes who we are, how we speak, our opinions, our thoughts, our motives, our strengths, and our weaknesses.

What parts of us were meant to be there from the start, and would have the potential of having developed with or without the influence of our environments?

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Daily Writing Prompt: How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

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Combatting the blues has been an uphill battle all of my life, the reason being that when I’m sad, I’m really sad. Little misfortunes in life don’t hurt me, but when something happens that is monumental to my life and the lives of others that could not have been preventable, I feel vulnerable. Useless. I try to keep my head up in these times by focusing on myself. What needs to get done in order for me to reach equilibrium once more? How am I going to accomplish this? Truthfully, the way I combat sadness is situational, but in all situations, there is a common weapon: the use of creativity. I’m a firm believer that getting your negative feelings on paper or canvas can give a sense of relief that many other methods in life can’t, because you’re in control. You have that pen, pencil, brush in your hand. You control the color, where it goes, how it interacts with other colors. You can write what ever you need to write, no matter how piercing the words. It gives you the feeling of connecting your life full circle again. Although, because I’m in college and my supplies are often limited to dry mediums, I tend to use music as a supplementary mood lifter. There are always going to be times when I’m sad and I just want to listen to something that’s going to make me bawl my eyes out, but more often than not, hearing the soothing sounds of “A Fine Frenzy” or “Blue October” gives me the sense of serenity I need to pick up from where I left off. It doesn’t hurt to lay my mind down in writing, as well.

If you find yourself feeling sad, try to explore that emotion visually. Even if you don’t consider yourself “crafty” or “artistic”, it’s important to allow yourself to delve into different mediums during times of emotional turmoil in order to determine your ability to combat sadness in new, positive ways rather than allowing it to swallow your ability to fix what has been broken. Try to represent your negativity in a more physical way, and it may set you free.

20 Things I Wish I Could Do Right Now

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1. Go home to South Florida to have some time to myself. It’s about time that I get to breathe in the sea air and the warm breezes. There’s something about my hometown that is addictive to me, that my current city cannot provide.

2. Move out of this apartment and never look back. And into a real apartment, which I will be doing in the coming fall, now that I’ve signed my first lease.

3. Write a novel and have it published. I write so much in my spare time but it never sees the light of day. I’m hoping one day it will get some fresh air. It must be invigorating to get your thoughts out to the world in a large-scale kind of way.

4. Take my ipod, put it on a fast-paced playlist, and go on a run until I feel like my legs are going to give out. I used to go on midnight runs around campus, and I think I might make this a thing again.

5. Find creative inspiration. It’s been bogged down so badly by all the stress I’ve accumulated lately that I barely want to create. It’s a shame, and I want the colorfulness of my life to return.

6. Vlog. Lately, it’s been all class, work, and exams. Like I said. I’m feeling overwhelmed.

7. Start teaching spin classes again. It’s the only thing I don’t mind waking up earlier than the sun for. I always come out of my classes feeling much happier and more motivated than when I came in.

8. Paint a large-scale piece. I wish I had a massive canvas that was big enough for me to use my body as a medium on.

9. Learn the acoustic guitar, finally. It’s been gathering dust in my room and I really want to give it the love and attention it deserves.

10. Have a 90210 marathon. I can never get enough of it, and I’m dreading when I finish the series. I should savor it, but I really just want to know what’s happening next.

11. Cook a romantic dinner. With candles, ambiance, delicious food, and great conversation.

12. Bike at least 10 miles each night. Not in a matter of needing to get somewhere, but for the joy of getting there. When I feel the air in my lungs, the wind in my face as I speed up, and my heart racing, I feel like I’m reborn. There’s nothing comparable to exercise, when needing clearance of the mind.

13. Listen to my music on the loudest volume imaginable, with a bass that’ll make the walls shake. Yes please.

14. Give a speech and not feel a bit anxious. Just speak from the heart.

15. Photograph a wedding or other special event. I love being a part of something emotional and significant in someone else’s life, and knowing that I contributed to that moment in a positive way.

16. Go to a concert that lasted all night. There would be no rush, no curfew, just positive vibes and the sense of community amongst the audience. I would prefer something mellow at this moment, or perhaps something more soulful.

17. Have a slow dance under the stars to the music of a live band.

18. Get together with a bunch of friends and sit around a bonfire, roasting marshmallows and reminiscing about past memories.

19. Sing karaoke confidently in a restaurant and get a standing ovation.

20. Introduce ten new, creative people into my life at this very moment.