April: Days Seven & Eight | Playlists & Plans

YoursTruly

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry for falling behind a bit on these daily posts, but last weekend was my birthday! Never fear, I’m in catch-up mode and will try to combine some days so I don’t bombard you with my rambling lol.

For Day Seven, I wanted to talk about Playlists!

I’m a HUGE music lover and I absolutely love finding new artists. I get tired of hearing the same 5 songs in rotation on the radio, so any time I can Shazam a song from a TV show or movie I’m a happy camper! I’m always taking suggestions too, so if you know of anyone I should check out, comment on this post and let me know!

I have a few playlists going on Apple Music right now, but the one I use the most is eclectic to say the least! I have Hailee Steinfeld, ZAYN, Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Syml, Muse, Lady Gaga, The Chainsmokers, Ruelle and Amber Run. Ruelle is featured a lot on one of my favorite shows, The Originals, and they’re absolutely incredible! I usually add a lot of my Shazam tags to that playlist as well so it’s always growing.

I also have a Justin Timberlake playlist, OneRepublic, The Script and Imagine Dragons. Those four are probably my favorite artists/bands.

How about you? What are you listening to? Is there anyone I should check out?


 
Day Eight is about highlighting what Plans are on my to-do list . . . and there’s a lot! I won’t bore you with everything, but here are the essentials:

  1. Definitely need to hit the gym. In the past year I moved from my home of 29 years to a cute little apartment. For some reason during the chaos of moving and working full-time, I decided it would be a “good idea” to also take 5 online classes. I haven’t had much time within the past year, but now that school has slowed down and I’m almost done, I plan on being at the gym every day.
  2. This past week I started looking for apartments to rent in Georgia, New York and New Jersey. During my search, I stumbled upon a GORGEOUS new home for about half of what it would cost if it were here in Miami. This really made me smarten up about spending/saving money, so saving is definitely on my list of plans.
  3. I graduated high school in 2002 (yes, I’m old) and have been taking college courses here and there ever since. I’ve worked full-time since I was 18 so it wasn’t always easy to put time aside for school. Trying to find online classes or classes that coincide with your work schedule is a bitch! I’ve already received my Associates Degree and Liberal Arts and am about to finish my Bachelors Degree in English – Creative Writing, so now it’s time to think and plan for the possibility of grad school. Am I crazy for considering it? Probably!

 

That’s all I’ll bore you with for now, but let me know what plans you have for the rest of the year!

April: Day Six | What is one thing you need to start doing?

YoursTruly

 

The loaded question for Day Six is:

What is one thing you need to start doing?

Besides the typical going to the gym, eating healthy, saving money, etc., I think my answer for this one is that I need to start driving places. Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds lol.

Throughout my life my dad always drove my mom and me everywhere. Starting a new job? He’d drive you there to let you get a feel for the area before having to do it by yourself. Need to stop by school for something? He’d drive you there too. The man LOVED to drive and would volunteer to drive you everywhere. While I appreciated it at the time, I feel like it caused some damage. I get anxiety when I have to drive places I’m not familiar with.

I’m 33 and have lived in Miami for the past 27 years, but I’ve yet to drive myself to Orlando. That means I can’t take little spontaneous trips to Disney with my niece, I can’t plan road trips with friends because I’m the only one whose hands start to sweat when I have to get on a highway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good driver and I’m a safe driver, but I don’t trust other drivers. I’ve seen way too many people putting make-up on while they drive, plucking their eyebrows, eating, texting . . . you get the point. It makes me nervous and I try to avoid it.

The anxiety I get comes with a price though. Friends invite me to things and I sometimes turn them down because the thought of driving there alone makes my head spin. This sometimes causes them to think twice about inviting me because they automatically assume I’ll turn down the invite. It hurts sometimes, but I’m sure it hurts them when I can’t make it. Something that people don’t try to understand about anxiety though is that it’s not something you can just say, “Hey! I’m gonna get over this today!” Believe me, I wish it was that easy because I tell myself that all the time.

So that’s what I need to start doing . . . I need to take baby steps so that I can eventually make that trip to Disney with my niece

April: Day Five | What do you think of social media?

YoursTruly

Hey there! I hope you’re having a fantastic start to the month!

For Day Five the question is:

What do you think of social media?

I think social media can be one of the greatest inventions . . . when it is used properly. That’s the key word. When I was in high school we didn’t have social media. We weren’t able to connect with our favorite actors, musicians, athletes, etc. online the way we can now. YouTube wasn’t around until about three years after I graduated high school, so if you wanted to hear an interview with your favorite band (cough cough *NSYNC) you had to sit next to the radio with a CASSETTE TAPE on deck and wait to hit the record button at just the right moment. There were no DVR’s and no YouTube, so if you wanted to re-watch that amazing performance from an awards show, you had to pop a VHS TAPE in your VCR and, also, hit record button at just the right moment. The struggle was real!

I wouldn’t even have this blog if it weren’t for the internet and social media! So I do think there are a lot of positives that come along with it. It’s pretty cool to be able to reach out to our favorite actors, writers, musicians, athletes and influencers and, in some cases, even have a conversation with them. If I were able to have a conversation with Justin Timberlake in my high school years,  maybe my life would’ve taken a different path. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration lol, but it’s still pretty cool to have that possibility now. I’ve also made a ton of friends via social media that live in other states that I never would have met if I wasn’t on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Imagine the horror of living in a time where smart phones didn’t exist! We actually had to TALK to our family and friends as opposed to texting or tweeting. I feel old saying it because even though I love the possibilities available to us via social media, I miss the times where we knew how to communicate.

Which brings me to my thoughts of how social media can be a negative thing also. I’ve been a fan of The Vampire Diaries for years now and I recapped it online with my friends for a while. As a writer, I follow a lot of the writers and creators of the show because I admire the work they do. However, I’ve seen these incredible writers get the rudest tweets and messages because the scripts didn’t include “ships” that some fans were longing for. Are you kidding me??? How can a group of writers please every single fan out there? It’s literally impossible. I’m sure the writers of these shows have thick skin to be able to do what they do, but I’m sure getting these messages from strangers claiming to be fans can also be disconcerting at times.

There is also cyber-bullying to worry about. My niece is 12 and has social media, so the worry is constantly there for me. Thankfully she doesn’t mind me being logged into her accounts so I can help guide her through the correct ways to use social media. It’s sad that terms like “fat-shaming” and “slut-shaming” exist these days. Someone doesn’t fit societies expectations for the perfect body? They’re labeled fat and unhealthy. A woman has a photo leaked of her that was sent to her boyfriend at the time? She’s a slut. A man would get props on that one though if the roles were reversed. I’ve even seen fans on Twitter send despicable comments to actors just to get a response from them. Forget the fact that the actor will respond by calling them a jerk, the fan is still excited (which baffles my mind lol).

There are a number of ways to look at social media and the effects it has on society today. When used properly, it can be fun and productive. When used improperly, it can cause pain to others.

So think about how you want to impact those around you and set the example! Let’s teach younger generations to appreciate the things they have at their fingertips and to utilize those outlets correctly.

April: Day Four | If you were able to instantly change your life, what would be different?

YoursTruly

Hey, everyone!

Day Four on my April list is:

If you were able to instantly change your life, what would be different?

This is a tough question because I was raised not to regret things. We go through certain experiences and we make mistakes, but we usually learn from them. I think, for the most part, that these things shape who we are, whether they’re difficult to go through or not.

However, in the past few years, I’ve experienced certain things that I wish I would change. One being my relationship with my father.

My father didn’t always know how to relate to my brothers and I. He was a Vietnam vet who often suffered from PTSD and found it much easier to relate to other veterans. There was one in particular that my dad sort of adopted in his mind. If I’m being honest, it hurt me. It hurt that he took more of an interest in this guy’s life than in mine. I would even joke to my friends that I had daddy issues. Never did I think I would lose my dad before he turned 65.

Long story short . . . my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer in April 2015 and he died a month later. It’s crazy how you don’t stop to think about how much you truly appreciate someone until they’re no longer around. My dad wasn’t perfect, but he was the type of dad that would’ve dropped everything if you needed a ride somewhere or if you had a flat tire in the middle of the night .

So if I could change something, I would change the relationship I had with my father in the years leading up to his death.

 

If I could change two things, I would also change the person I chose to give my heart to when I was way too young to even consider giving it away. Ladies, young girls . . . please remember to love yourself before you try loving someone else. I made the mistake of putting all of my affection towards one person and all he did was play games. Slept with my best friend after I (stupidly) paid for his flight to visit, repeatedly came to me to boost his ego when other girls knocked him down, said horrible things about me, played the sympathy card asking for help paying bills and then gave his girlfriend a gorgeous ring about a month or two later. Thankfully I’d smartened up by that point so he didn’t get a penny from me for that ring lol. He dangled me like a chew toy and I fell for it every time because when he shattered me to pieces, I gave him that power to do it. So appreciate yourself and don’t let ANYONE have power over you. We are strong WOMEN and we should be putting that strength and love towards someone who deserves it.

Who knows . . . if I could go back and eliminate him from my life, I might not have the troubles I have now with finding men who are only interested in two things . . . sex and feeding their own egos. Where are the good guys at???

 

What would YOU change if you could? Let me know!

April: Day Three | What are you most grateful for?

YoursTruly

Hello to anyone taking the time to read this!

Day Three’s prompt is: What are you most grateful for?

If I’m being completely honest, I find it difficult sometimes to feel grateful for everything I have in my life. I’m pretty certain others feel the same. I haven’t had a bad life, but I haven’t had the picture perfect life I envisioned when I was in high school. I’ve had close friends backstab me, I’ve had boys break my heart (one in particular) and I’ve had plenty of friends come and go over the years. The one thing that has remained a constant is my family.

While I’ve lost all of my grandparents and my father, I still have the most incredible mom and two older brothers that can piss me off 90% of the time but they’ve always had my back when I needed it.

I also have a 12-year-old niece who I absolutely adore. She’s a pain in the ass sometimes, but she’s my pain in the ass.

So that’s what I’m most grateful for at the moment . . . my family.

 

What are YOU most grateful for? Let me know!

April: Day Two | What place do you consider your home?

YoursTruly

 

Good morning, peeps!

I’m still catching up on what will be an informative month lol. As a short reminder, April is my birthday month and, in an attempt to let you all get to know me a little better, I’ll be writing once a day in response to a writing prompt.

Day Two’s prompt is: What place do you consider your home?

This is a tricky question to answer! I’ve lived in Miami, FL for the past 27 years. My family moved here when I was about to turn 6 for a job that my dad was hired to do. I have an awful memory, so I don’t remember much from my childhood, but I remember not wanting to leave my friends and family in New Jersey.

I was born in Glen Ridge, NJ and lived my first years of life in Bloomfield. It’s a small town where everyone knew everyone. We lived on a dead-end street that always had kids outside playing. We had no cell phones, no computers . . . we were kids. Our sources of entertainment came from playing outside, sliding down our driveways on skateboards, etc. It was a GREAT time to be a kid. I was the baby on the block with two older brothers and a whole street full of unofficial ones.

I still have four wonderful aunts in New Jersey and up until a few years ago, the best grandparents in the world lived there too.

So to answer this question truthfully . . . even though I’ve been in Miami for the past 27 years, I still consider New Jersey home. People are friendlier, things are simpler and everything just feels nostalgic – like home. Not to mention the fact that I miss the cold weather (yes, I said it!). Eventually I might even consider moving back to my roots!

April: Day One | Your Biggest Dream

YoursTruly

 

Hey everyone!! I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to check in on According to Kristin. I truly appreciate the likes, follows, comments and emails!

With that being said, I’m a day late but WELCOME to my birthday month! Yes, I’m that person who thinks the whole month is my month to do what makes me happy lol. I’m a HUGE birthday person in general. I love making my friends feel special on their born day and I love making myself feel special too . . . because we should all be doing that anyway, am I right?

So I decided to do something special for my birthday month. I’ve been wanting to get into writing more original content for the blog and I thought this would be the perfect way to start. School and work have been taking up most of my time, but I’m finally able to dedicate more time to doing what I love . . . writing! I visited Pinterest and looked up writing prompts that might help you all get to know me a bit better, so here goes!

First up . . . “Your biggest dream”

My biggest dream is to be truly happy. I haven’t had it the easiest, especially in recent years. I had my heart broken into a million tiny pieces, I lost my 3 remaining grandparents, my beautiful Golden Retriever Kayla, and my father all in a span of four years. It’s been tough and I battle anxiety at times, but I find that writing helps A LOT.

I’ve been taking creative writing courses (yes, I’m old to still be finishing my Bachelor’s degree, but hey, life happens) and have gotten involved in writing poetry, which was totally out of my comfort zone. I might even gain enough courage to post some of my poems online one day. The process of writing about something that haunts you has been extremely therapeutic for me though!

I’m about to turn 33 and I’m single, I live at home, I have no kids of my own and I don’t get to go out much. Between work, school and literally all of my friends being married with children of their own, it’s hard to put yourself out there. I’m at a point though where I’m ready to start doing that. The plan is to consistently make it to the gym, get back in shape and really find that happiness within myself that I’ve been missing for a bit.

Thankfully, I have According to Kristin and my fellow podcast peeps to keep me busy doing what I find exciting and entertaining. I never thought I’d have a blog to run, so here’s to taking those baby steps towards finding yourself. It’s hard sometimes and there are a ton of speed bumps along the way, but you just have to push through and do what needs to be done no matter what.