Don’t Kick Me When I’m Down

Hello, friends! Liam and I are feeling much better as of yesterday, as we finally slept (mostly) through the night! He did wake up 4 times, all before 1:30 in the morning, but he slept until 7:30. His cough is gone, and he is much less fussy, and much more energetic, than he has been in over a week. I’m glad the antibiotics kicked in quickly! We seem to be in the middle of a developmental leap, as he has been increasingly clingy the last few days, add this to his teething, and it has been a bit frustrating not being able to do anything during the day. My apartment is a mess, and now that I’m feeling better, all I want to do is clean, but he just won’t let me.

Kyle still hasn’t been able to find a new job, and our funds are starting to run low. His department at his one remaining job decided to cut his department’s hours, and he has only been working 2-3 days a week, which is nowhere near enough to pay our rent, let alone the rest of our bills. I am trying to stay positive, but things are starting to get tight, and I am starting to panic a little. He’s been filling out applications every day, but hasn’t heard anything back from anyone. I filed an application for EBT yesterday, and tomorrow I will go to the WIC office and get back on that. We had both up until Kyle got his job at the Walmart DC, but we lost them when he was hired. We more than qualify for assistance now that they have (wrongfully) fired him.

Things have been frustrating here. Very frustrating. I am exhausted, and I have been getting migraines again, most likely triggered by my blood pressure, which I am willing to bet is higher than normal. And stress.

Also, my phone is missing. Liam was playing with it this morning, as he normally does, and now it is gone. I made the mistake of allowing him to play with it, since he no longer puts electronics in his mouth. I have been looking for it all day, but really started tearing the apartment apart an hour ago, while he was eating dinner, to try and find it. I’ve looked in all his usual hiding places (under my desk, under the kitchen table, in the shoes, etc.), but I can’t find it anywhere. Oh, and of course, it is on silent. Grr.

In other news, I have been playing the game Stardew Valley quite a bit lately in my free time. Kyle bought it for me for our anniversary last month, and I am completely addicted to it. I’ll write up a longer review later when I have time. I also have 4 dream journal entries, and 3 blog ideas, that I need to write out. I just never have a second to get on the computer anymore, unless Liam is sleeping, in which case, I am either bathing myself, or cleaning the apartment. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc., have all taken a backseat to life. I feel like I’ve missed out on so much of everything. It has been nice, in a way, having Kyle home, as it has freed me up a bit… but it comes at a cost, obviously.

That’s it for now. Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes and kind words. I’ve missed you guys, and I’m sorry I haven’t been active lately. I have SO many posts to read and catch up on! I hope to be back soon.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

200 Followers

Hello, you beautiful people! I just wanted to take a second to thank you all so much for all of the comments, constructive criticism, personal stories, advice, and laughter that you have shared with me these last few months. Today, I hit 200 followers on this little blog, and I could honestly cry.

I’ve started, trashed, and restarted blog after blog after blog, never feeling like anything that I wrote mattered, or that I would ever get anywhere. 200 followers is just a small milestone in the grand scheme of things, but it is huge to me. Even if you are only here for my daily prompts, or my occasional baby toy reviews, or my rants about social media drama, you have helped me overcome so much when it comes to my writing, how I express myself, and things going on in my life, and I owe you so much for that.

So, thank you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you who have ever glanced at the words that I’ve typed out. I’m just an average girl, living an average life, and the fact that anyone takes any interest in that is mind blowing to me.

You are all amazing, and I look forward to sharing more of my life and stories with you in the future.

Stay awesome, friends.

Jan

The Liebster Award

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is a new-comer award given by bloggers to other bloggers, it creates a great platform for new blogs to be discovered and build communications. The best thing about this award is, it creates a lot of encouragement and support within our blogging community.

I had never heard of this award before, and was pleasantly surprised to be nominated by the fantastic Christina (aka justbluedutch)! I am so excited to answer some questions, and nominate 10 more individuals for this award. I also urge you all to check out Christina’s blog, which is filled with beautiful images and words about living life to the fullest. She is just wonderful. Thank you again, Christina! 🙂

Now, for those who have not heard about the award, here are the rules:

  1. Thank your nominator.
  2. Share the award on your blog.
  3. Answer 10 questions asked to you.
  4. Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees (who have less than 300 followers).
  5. Notify them via social media.

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Here are the ten questions that the lovely Christina asked of her ten nominees, including myself, which I am more than happy to answer!

  1. What have you learned from Blogging?
    Patience. Lots of patience. I’ve dabbled in blogging off and on for years, but have had the hardest time sticking with it. In the last year, my life has changed so much, and I’m constantly surrounded by inspiration for writing. I’ve finally found my groove, and I hope I’m able to stick with it this time!
  2. What do you love about the place where you live at the moment ?
    Unfortunately, not much. This area holds a lot of bad memories for me, and I would love nothing more than to move away before something else tethers us here. The best thing, I would have to say, is that Kyle’s family is nearby.
  3. Where is your happy place?
    Deep within the pages of a good book. Or buried deep within the warmth of my covers.
  4. How do you keep your posts original & interesting?
    I don’t know that they are original OR interesting! I write about my life, and what I’ve experienced as a new mother. The most original and interesting thing would definitely have to be my dream journal. I am lucky enough to experience vivid dreams, which I am usually able to remember. It makes for fun writing!
  5. Where do you get your inspiration to write?
    My day-to-day life, as well as my brilliant baby boy.
  6. If you had to travel to an isolated location, far from civilization, to live for 2 months without internet, name three books that you would bring with you to read.
    Oh, man. I’ll be honest, since having my son (a year and 2 days ago), I haven’t picked up a single book, and I miss it! I have no idea what books are even on the shelve these days! And I’m kind of weird about rereading books… so I’d probably just sunbathe on the beach and relax!
  7. Would you still blog if you knew nobody was going to read it?
    Of course. First and foremost, I blog for me. Being able to articulate my thoughts is very therapeutic for me. If people enjoy reading about it, then that’s great!
  8. Who is your favorite Blogger at the moment?
    Too many to list!
  9. What is your vision for  your Blog for the next 3 years?
    I honestly have no idea! Who knows if I’ll even be writing 3 months from now!
  10. What is the best thing about your Blog?
    Hmm… my personal favorite is my dream journal. I enjoy looking back and reading through them, laughing about how bizarre my mind is.

The following bloggers/blogs are my super awesome nominees for the Liebster Award, and I hope they are as psyched as I am!

  1. Where In the Life
  2. Life Beyond Mommy
  3. Crazy Grad Mama
  4. That Crunchy New Mom
  5. Its A Mum’s Life 2016
  6. This little life
  7. Mars Gone Mad
  8. The NYC Mom
  9. The Flip of the Switch
  10. Confessions of A SAHM Site

And here are my ten questions for my ten nominees:

  1. If you have someone in mind, who would you say has been your greatest writing influence in terms of your own writing style?
  2. Aside from blogging, what are some of your other hobbies?
  3. What are three books that you have read more than three times?
  4. What is your favorite genre of music? Does the music you listen to affect your writing in any way?
  5. Do you find writing by hand more preferable, or typing on the keyboard?
  6. Do you consider yourself a full-time writer, or a part-time writer?
  7. What time of day is most productive for you in terms of finding time to write?
  8. If you were to start writing a book right now, what would it be about?
  9. What is your favorite topic to write about?
  10. What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

This was so much fun! Once again, a huge thanks to Christina for nominating me, and putting my name out there! I can’t wait to read what my fellow newbie writers in the community post.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/25/2016 | Key Takeaway

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/25/2016 | Key Takeaway

“Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging.

YouTube, vlogging, blogging, Instagram, Twitter, podcasting… the biggest piece of advice that I could give to someone, is to not worry about the numbers. This is something that I have struggled with, no matter what platform that I chose to express myself on. The most important thing to remember is that if you have good, relatable content, the followers and subscribers will come. It may take months, or even years, but if you stick with it, and stay true to yourself, and what you want to produce, then it will happen.

Focus on quality, not quantity.

I think everyone secretly thinks that it will happen overnight. That they will put out a few blog posts, or a few witty videos on YouTube, and all these people will magically find them, and they will become a hit sensation immediately, and become monetized, or even sponsored, but that’s not how it works. You also have to put yourself out there. Find other, like-minded people in the community, and reach out to them. Participate, give feedback. You can’t expect to gain anything, if you’re not willing to give.

Stay patient, don’t give up. It will happen.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/19/2016 | Can’t Stand Me

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/19/2016 | Can’t Stand Me

“What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?”

Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but I have been on the internet for a long, long time. I used to blog regularly on sites like Open Diary and Teen Open Diary back in midle school/early high school, and then moved on to Blogger, and eventually to Tumblr and WordPress. I dabbled in blogging, short stories, and online role-playing blogs (mostly Harry Potter), before moving onto a new platform: YouTube.

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In 2009, armed with nothing more than a crappy webcam and my trusty headset, I uploaded my first video ever, which was a video response (remember those things?) to a video that Red Shirt Guy uploaded after facing criticism and ridicule for his Asperger’s Syndrome, which was brought into light during a BlizzCon panel, when he stunned the crowds, as well as the developers, by pointing out a story line flaw between the Warcraft novels and World of Warcraft game content. After my video response received over 10k views, and several hundred comments, I was inspired to make videos regularly. I began recording myself daily, talking about my day-to-day life, including fun rants about working in retail, trying new foods, talking about gaming, books, and movies, and also submitting entries for my friends Amanda’s monthly The Scrawl posts. While I had a lot of fun doing it, and built up a fan base of… well, 5 or 6 nice people, it was draining.

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I’ve never had the highest self-esteem, and putting my face out there for all the trolls of the internet to pick apart, certainly did not help. While the majority of the comments I received from viewers were quite positive, there were definitely some not-so-positive ones, and after a while, that got to me. I went to a dark place, for a really long time, and I still haven’t recovered from it.

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There’s something about putting yourself out there that makes you vulnerable. There are people stronger than me who probably could have handled it better and kept going, but I had a hard time. I eventually started moderating the comments, so that they needed approval before being posted. If people weren’t insulting my appearance, they were saying other vulgar things. You can see a few examples above.

After a while, I stopped posting videos regularly. And after a few years of this, I gave up entirely, and stopped posting videos. This was all during a time in my life where I was struggling with having moved to a new town, where I knew nobody, had no friends, had a hard time finding a job, and was in an unhealthy, controlling relationship. I felt completely alone. Before I gave up on YouTube entirely, I started dabbling in audio, specifically, podcasting. After receiving a lot of positive feedback, and realizing that it was something I enjoyed and was good at, I decided to give up on YouTube, and dove into the cold, unfamiliar waters of podcasting.

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I uploaded my first episode of Something Suggestive in February of 2012. Early on, I filled my show with World of Warcraft news, movie reviews, and a random Q&A segment. It was really awkward, and felt totally different than recording videos for YouTube. There was no camera to talk to, and I found myself needing to edit out a lot of awkward pauses and stumbles. But I eventually got the hang of it. I gained a pretty decent following on Twitter, and the outpouring of friendship and support was incredible. For the first time in a long time, I felt accepted. Like I mattered.

My show started getting bigger, and the pride that I felt whenever I checked my weekly stats was amazing. I made so many friends in the podcasting community, and was even invited to be on several other podcasts as a guest host. Some of you may not know this, but I believe that I was also the first WoW podcaster to interview a WoWHead staff member (Perculia), which was pretty amazing to me at the time. I overhauled the content of my show, made it more WoW-oriented, and introduced two amazing segments, featuring my dear friends, Rho and Marconin. Life was good.

That all ended in March of 2013, when my ex and I broke up after 4 years together, and he kicked me out of our apartment. He took back the computer that he had given me for Christmas, and I was forced to leave my old life, and most of my belongings, behind. Rho was nice enough to take over my final episode of Something Suggestive for me, which aired on April 1st, and that was that.

It has been a little under 3 years since the last episode of Something Suggestive, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Podcasting was one of the only things in my life that I felt like I was good at. It helped me break out of my shell, and helped me form some amazing friendships. It also helped me deal with trolls and haters better (and believe me, there were quite a few), because I knew that I was good at what I was doing, and they were just jerks. Unfortunately, I no longer play World of Warcraft, so returning to the podcasting community seems impossible. I’ve lost contact with many of the people I once considered to be great friends. I recently picked up blogging again, which has given me a nice outlet for my creativity, as well as my frustrations, and it has made me feel a little bit better about the direction my life is going in. Kind of…

I guess, to answer the original question, I find watching old videos of myself more unbearable, mostly because I was so awkward. I had no idea what I was doing. I sometimes wish that I had stuck with it a little longer, because who knows where I would be right now! I had fun doing it, but looking back at it, I don’t think I was nearly as successful at vlogging as I was at podcasting. I have the face for radio, haha. I actually wouldn’t mind getting into radio, or some other kind of podcasting, in the future!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan