30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 19

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Day 19: Discuss your first love.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in love with another person romantically, and I think that’s what this prompt is referring to. So I can’t really blog about that for you. I wish I could say that there was a high school sweetheart or a college love, but I’ve not had that. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, but none that amounted to real love. Instead of writing about that, I’m going to write about a few other “first love” situations.

When I was really young, as young as 3 and 4, I loved maps and puzzles. I would put together map puzzles of the world and of various countries, and would tell everyone about all the different places I could see. This was the point that my United Kingdom love affair began. I did my UK puzzle over and over and over again until it basically fell apart. Apparently I loved the shapes and colors of it and didn’t want to do any others. Once that was destroyed, I was given little books and things by family about the UK and all things British; they all found it so funny that I had this little obsession as a toddler. Eventually, as I grew older, I began learning about the history, the monarchy, and the geography of the countries and fell even more in love. Aside from that, I gained a real love for geography from my map and puzzle obsession. I don’t know that there is a subject (aside from writing and literature) that I excelled in more.

Reading. I can’t think of a time in my life that didn’t revolve around books and reading. I can remember vividly being read to as a child, all the time. I was lucky enough to have been taught to read at an early age, before entering school, so I was reading at a higher level than most of my peers as I grew. I may be absolutely crap at math, but reading is something I can most assuredly say I am spectacular at. The first “real” book I ever read on my own was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I was hooked. I have read all the books in the series cover to cover more times than I can count. It was an outlet for me, to be able to jump into a magical world so vastly different from my own when things got particularly hard at home or when I wasn’t having the best time socially at school. I didn’t have the simplest childhood or teen years, but books and my imagination helped me through it. Reading will always be a part of my life, from my “first love” book of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, to every book I’ve read since then, they have all inspired me in their own ways.

Lastly, my niece and nephew. I didn’t have the best family life growing up. Nothing was very stable, there were a lot of fights, and things just weren’t very pleasant at times. I wasn’t really sure what love was when I was young. I was never sure whether or not my family loved me, or if I loved them even. It was all really complicated. But the day my niece was born, and I was able to hold her and experience her very first day in the world with her, I knew what love was. I was only ten, but I knew that she was going to be someone very special in my life. I didn’t think it was possible to ever love anyone as much as I loved that chunky little monkey, but then her brother was born, and I fell just as in love with his sweet little face the moment I saw him as I did with my niece. Those two absolutely mad children are my whole world, and I couldn’t be happier that they are the people that helped me realize what love really is.

How about you, have you ever been in love? I’d love to hear about it.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 8

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Day 8: Share something you struggle with.

As any other human, there is an abundance of things that I struggle with. As you’re reading this, I am either about to go to, currently at,or have gotten home from a job interview. A huge job interview. One of those interviews that could make your life 1000 times different if you succeed, or knock you back 1000 feet if you fail. This brings me right to something that I struggle with; Fear. I’m absolutely terrified of this interview, and I don’t really know how to make this fear go away. I’ve tried to take the pressure off, telling myself that it’s really not that big of a deal, and that I’ll be just fine if it doesn’t work out, but I don’t know if I truly believe that. If I land this job, it means I’ll be making a significant amount of money compared to what I’m making currently, and that would push me really far in the right direction. If I were able to make more money, I’d be able to save so much more, and that’s something I really need to do if I want to travel or move to another country someday. I know that money isn’t what’s important in life, but it really does make following the dreams I have a whole lot easier.

I’ve spent the past week studying up on the company, searching the internet for interview tips, hunting down the right “interview appropriate” outfit, everything, all in hopes to land this job and move a step closer to  following my dreams. This job isn’t just about the money for me, its also about my career, or lack thereof. I know that a lot of 21 year old’s aren’t worried about a career or gaining experience in their field of work, but I really am. I have an end goal, and that end goal is to be happy. One of the things that I think will make me happy is to move to a new place, one that I love, one that feels more like home than my current “home” ever has, and in order to do that, I’m going to need a job there, and in order to get a job there I’m going to need a lot of experience and as many connections as I can possibly get. And for that, I’m willing to work hard. But fear seems to always creep it’s way into my mind.

I mentioned this subject to a friend the other day, about how fear is one of the big things stopping me from following my dreams and goals. Fear of doing things alone, fear of not having a safety net. I have no idea how to get over fear, and fear is what causes my anxiety. It is a horrible cycle. And it is something that I struggle with constantly.

Do any of you struggle with similar things? Do you think fear or anxiety hold you back? How do you cope with it? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Along with any motivation or positive vibes you can give me about this job interview, chances are that I am sitting at home, internally freaking out about whether or not they will call me and tell me I got the job. Fingers crossed I don’t bomb the whole interview!

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 6

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Day 6: Five ways to win your heart.

1. Be yourself.
2. Be nice.
3. Have a passion.
4. Be understanding.
5. Smile.

I was a little apprehensive about writing this one. As a single girl, I think it’s clear that I don’t even know what I really want in a guy, let alone how one could “win my heart”. I’m the kind of person that believes that love is something that never ends, and since I’m not with anyone and I don’t have those feelings of love for anyone, for me its safe to say that I’ve never been in love. At least not the relationship sort of love. I love my close friends, and my family, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever loved any boyfriend I’ve had. I know that’s not the way everyone sees this whole “love” thing, but it is the way I’ve worked it out for myself. With that said, I decided to list qualities that would push me a little closer to falling for a guy, which I suppose would mean he would be the one to “win my heart”.

I don’t think there’s anything better than when someone is truly being themselves. I think its completely obvious when someone is acting differently or not being true to themselves. I’ve written about bad experiences of men acting ridiculous on dates before, and I can’t help but be a bit apprehensive about going out with anyone new, because I just don’t want to deal with it again. The last thing I want is for someone to act different than who they are just because they think it will make them seem cooler or because they think it’s how I want them to act. Personally, I’ve never been one to go for the big muscly guys, or the ones that talk down to other people, because I’m just not like that. I’m at the point in my life where I really want to find someone that I have a lot in common with, someone that I can really build a friendship and a relationship with, and if the person I’m talking to isn’t being themselves, how can I possibly have a hope of building anything with them?

Being nice should just be common sense, but from what I’ve seen in the dating world so far, in this city at least, it doesn’t seem to be as common as I think it should be. I’ve encountered men that were mean to the staff in the places we went, men that were rude to their family and friends, etc. I don’t want to limit this to just men, because that’s obviously not the case, but that’s the only reference point I have. All I ask is that the guy I’m with treats the people around him with respect. Being kind can be the simplest thing, and also the most attractive. I’m not asking for you to be Gandhi or anything, but a little kindness and respect can go a long way.

Have a passion in life. I don’t mean like sexual passion or anything like that if that’s what you’re thinking, although I suppose that’s somewhat important too, but I’m not getting into that here. I mean a passion as in a drive for something in your life. Whether you’re passionate about writing, sports, books, travelling, science, anything; I just want you to have a passion for something. I’m saying you as if you reading this right now could be the guy for me, who knows, maybe you are, but I suppose I should say “him” instead; I want him to be passionate about something, whatever that may be.

I’m not a perfect person by any means, I have a million and one flaws to go along with all of the great things about me, and I need a guy that can be understanding about that, just as I’ll be for him. Being understanding of someone else’s feelings, views, opinions, dreams, lazy days, insecurities, and everything else that someone goes through is important, not just in a romantic relationship, but in any relationship. Friendships, family relationships, work relationships, it all takes understanding and kindness even. I can assure this mythical future boyfriend that wants to “win my heart” that I will always be just as understanding as I’d like for him to be.

No one can ever look better than they do when they’ve got a smile on their face. Knowing that the person you’re with and spending time with is happy and smiling is a lovely thing. Seeing someone genuinely smile at me can brighten my whole day. There’s only so much that can be said about smiling, I feel like this is the most self explanatory of all the things on my list here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Some of these posts in this challenge make me feel a bit uneasy, as though I’m making myself out to be this crazy demanding person when it comes to relationships, but I’m really not. I feel like everything I’m looking for is fairly basic as far as relationship “requirements” go. I think the biggest thing here is that everything I’ve written down as something that the ideal man needs to possess to “win my heart” are all things that I have to offer him as well. I can’t promise that I’ll always be pretty or have a nice body, or that I’ll always have it all together, but I can promise that I’ll always be a genuine person and be myself, I’ll always be nice, I’ll never lose my passion for the things I love in life, I will always be understanding, and I will do my best to have a smile on my face as often as possible. What more can you ask for really?

Are there any things that someone can do or qualities that they should possess to win your heart?

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 4

Day 4: Write about someone who inspires you.

 I’m lucky in life. Mostly because there has never been a shortage of people to look up to and draw inspiration from. There are hundreds of people in this world that have shaped not only the world and lives around me, but they’ve shaped me as well. They’ve shaped my beliefs, my dreams, and my perspective, and I am beyond grateful for that. As a female, I was often shown things about inspirational women and important women in history, and in first grade I was given a picture book about the First Ladies of America and I was introduced to Eleanor Roosevelt.

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There are plenty of people that inspire me but Eleanor Roosevelt has always been someone special. She was a woman that believed in dreams. She believed in the world and all the good that people could do. In her time as first lady, married to Franklin D. Roosevelt, from 1933-1945, she worked tirelessly to fight for human rights and civil rights, and continued to do so for years after her time in the white house. I’ve always been enamored with Eleanor Roosevelt because she knew who she was.  She had a concrete sense of herself, her place in the world, the importance of humanity, and the knowledge that everyone has inherent worth to the world. Because she was the one who taught others, that “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission”. There aren’t enough words to describe how incredible I think this woman was. She never based her self worth on her looks or on anything else that women of that era would have, she focused on bettering the world and succeeded in making it a better place when she left it than what it was when she arrived.

This may be the most poorly written post I ever put up on this blog, but I’m just not sure what to say. How do you convey how important a person you’ve never met is to you? I could sit here and go on and on about all of her accomplishments and all of the amazing things she did in her life, but I won’t. Instead I’ll leave you with a short video that may show you a little insight into why this woman inspires me so greatly. I love everything that she stood for, and everything that she did for those around her. She was a selfless person that never let anything stand in her way and that is something that everyone should strive to be.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 3

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Day 3: What are your top three pet peeves?

1. When someone always finds something to complain about, no matter what the situation. (The irony of putting this in this post is not lost on me, I can assure you.)
2. When people see the film adaptation of a book without reading the book first, or even worse, don’t know it was a book in the first place.
3. When people make that scratchy sound with metal forks on their teeth.

Those three things are in no particular order really, and if I’m honest, there are other things that annoy me more than these from time to time, but I had to write down three, so here they are! I found it a bit funny how many things came to mind when I read this question. I never knew that there were so many little things that trigger angry responses from me, I should probably work on that, but for now, I’m just going to write a post where I complain about these insignificant things as if they were real problems, because I have been prompted to do so.

You know those people, the ones that have a tendency to chronically complain about everything in life, and seem to always blame the world when things go wrong in their lives and never themselves. There are so many things about this that bugs me, the biggest being the fact that most of the time, the things that happen in our lives happen because of the choices we make and the things that we do. Sure, there are most definitely things that happen in life that are completely uncontrollable, but those aren’t the things that these people usually complain about. I’ve not found the best response yet to deal with people that complain all the time, at this point, I just try to build them up and boost their confidence if I can, to maybe try and help them stop complaining a bit. But I can assure you, if you are someone that complains often about anything and everything anytime something doesn’t go your way, there is a huge likelihood that we won’t be very good friends.

I absolutely hate it when people see a film adaptation of a book without reading the book. It’s just one of those things that drives me crazy. I don’t know why, maybe its a conditioned response, or maybe its just the bookworm in me hoping to remind the world that the book is *almost* ALWAYS better than the film. I came across the unthinkable recently; my 11 year old niece’s friend didn’t know that Harry Potter was a book series and not just a series of films. My little heart almost shattered. The book series that shaped my whole childhood, my whole imagination and mind, was simply reduced to a series of films and not the words that flew off the pages creating vivid images in my mind. I do hope I never encounter this sort of nonsense again, but who knows, the world is full of people that are forgetting the importance of the written word.

Lastly, when people make that awful scratchy sound with forks on their teeth when they’re eating, the one that rivals nails on a chalkboard, yeah, you know the one. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It makes my face go into this scrunched up mess of pain and annoyance. It is horrendous. Please, make it stop. PLEASE. If we’re sitting at a table eating together, don’t do what my brothers did all my life and purposefully make that horrible noise just to drive me mildly insane. That’s just cruel.

Goodness, after all that complaining and whining, I’m starting to annoy myself. Maybe writing about pet peeves is a new pet peeve of mine. Whatever the case, for better or for worse, I have disclosed the things that annoy me most to all of you, and I trust you will use them wisely. I also trust that you will find the humor in this little post, and wont take it too seriously. Speaking of seriously, the world would seriously be a less infuriating place if we could all just put these things to an end.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 2

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Day 2: Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot.

I find it really unsettling that when I read this, I instantly thought of a dozen negative and horrible things that people have said about me over the years. It is a sad but true fact that the negative things people say often outshine the positive ones, and it would be all too easy for me to add to that with this post, but I just don’t want to. I could talk about how people made fun of my size, or when people said cruel things, but that’s not something that I want to remember. Those are the things that everyone wants to forget. Instead, I’m going to talk about something that makes me smile when I think of it. Something that means far more to me and shows who I am far more than any of the negative things people could say about me. I was told once that I have a beautiful soul, and that my daydreamer’s mind will take me to places that other’s aren’t even capable of dreaming about. I don’t know if I can even get across to you how meaningful this was to me. It made every inch of my body and mind happy. People can tell you every day that you look beautiful. They can compliment your hair or your clothes. They can point out how nice your body is. But there will always be that little voice inside you saying that they’re wrong or they’re lying. But when someone tells you that your soul is beautiful, or that who you are as a person is beautiful, it’s just one of those compliments that your brain doesn’t even know how to dispute. It’s a compliment that settles deep into your heart and stays there, waiting to remind you of it when someone hurts you or makes you feel less than what you are.

I am a daydreamer through and through. There’s no other way to describe me really. There isn’t a moment that goes by when I’m not daydreaming about things in the back of my mind. I used to get in trouble at school as a child for it. They didn’t want that quality inside me to survive. Teachers, parents, principals, everyone; they did their best to pull my head back under the clouds and to get me to focus on my work and only my work. And at the time, I almost wanted it to work. People made daydreaming and imagination seem like such a bad thing, as if it would make me less intelligent or it would make me a bad student, when really it does the opposite. I’m able to see now that daydreams, imagination, and creativity have shaped me into the person I am now. And I only realized that when someone said those words to me: my daydreamer’s mind will take me to places that other’s aren’t even capable of dreaming about. My mind makes me different, unique, and my mind makes me, me.

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”Neil Gaiman

The moral of this post, I suppose, is that even though people have said and will continue to say bad things about you and things that hurt you, you don’t have to make those words be the ones that define you. You can just as easily hold onto something someone says about you that makes you happy. Something that means the world to you. I’ve let my mind be the thing that defines me, as a person, as an aspiring writer, as a human being. Not my thighs or my face or anything else that will change completely when I’m old and grey. Your appearance only lasts a short while, but your soul, well, some say that lives on forever.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Introduction and Day 1!

Here we go, my first 30 Day Challenge on this blog.Will I completely fail at posting every single day for 30 days? Probably. Will I have fun giving it a go? Absolutely. So here I am, sitting in my bed watching Across the Universe, and setting myself up for quite the month. Writing 30 thoughtful and personal posts, all while *hopefully* maintaining my regular schedule of random personal posts, Take Me Away posts, Summer Goals posts, and Sleepy Sunday posts. I’m excited, a little nervous, and all around just interested to see how it all plays out. I love a good challenge, especially one that makes me think, and as writing is a passion of mine, this one seemed completely and utterly perfect. I also feel like this challenge will help me connect with myself a bit more, and may help me to stay inspired throughout this next month. So, without further ado, here is the start of my 30 Day Writing Challenge!
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Day 1: List 10 things that make you really happy.

1. Life.
2. Writing.
3. The wind blowing on my face and the leaves crunching beneath my feet on a blustery autumn afternoon.
4. Learning, about anything and everything I can.
5. Adventures.
6. Love.
7. The smell of freshly mowed grass.
8. The seaside.
9. Talking to people with Irish accents, or any accent really
10. Baby animals.

This list goes a bit all over the place, but I suppose that’s a good thing. So many different things in the world make me endlessly happy, some are the simplest of moments, and some are complex and magical things. Life makes me happy for the obvious reason that it means I’m alive. No matter what could be going wrong in my life, at least I’m here living it. So many people don’t get that chance anymore, and I intend to make the most of this beautiful thing that is life. I have always loved writing. It is my outlet. My key to unlocking new worlds with the tip of a pen or the stroke of a key on my keyboard. Writing is the way that I can escape from the world around me and create my own. Autumn is my happy season, the wind, the rain, the beautiful colors, the mild temperatures; there is no season that makes me happier. Learning is something that I’ve talked about on more than one occasion on this blog. I believe that there is never a time in your life when there is nothing left for you to learn or understand. I live to learn. Learning about science, people. cultures, music, film, everything; that’s what makes my life meaningful to me. This blog isn’t called “Adventures of Lexie” for nothing. I believe that everyday is an adventure if you let it be. I hope to have the chance to have adventures all over the world, all my life, collecting friendships and memories along the way. Love is one of the most important things in the world. We are all made to love one another. Not just the mushy gushy romantic kind of love, because lets be honest, not everyone has that. But everyone loves someone or something. I love my family and friends, I love books, I love music, I love the ocean, I love chocolate… the list could go on forever. All too often people just talk about the things they hate, or the things that are wrong with the world, but just for this moment, I’d like you to think about all the things that you love, all the people that you love. I promise that it will brighten your mood, even if it’s just for a second. It’s the small things in life that make me the happiest, like a smile from someone walking down the street, or the smell of freshly mowed grass. There’s not a scent memory in life that holds more memories for me than the smell of freshly mowed grass. Just the smell of it brings back memories of skinned knees, sidewalk battle scars, smiles, the sun shining down on me, forcing my hair into an even lighter shade of blonde than you’d think is possible; it brings back memories of childhood, a simpler time, and that’s a beautiful thing. Nearly all of the moments in life when I’ve felt the most comfortable, and the most “myself” was when I was standing by the seaside. There is one moment that I remember most vividly; I was sitting on the hood of my rental car in Northern Ireland, on the Antrim Coast near Glenarm, watching the waves rolling into the rocky shoreline, thinking about everything going on in my life. I was in a relationship that I hated, had a major in college that wasn’t right for me, and wanted nothing more than to stay in that spot watching the ocean forever. That moment was the one when I decided to end that horrible relationship, change my major to something different, and work as hard as possible in life to be able to come back to that spot someday, build a home, and never leave. This is also where I discovered my love for Irish accents. I’ve always loved accents of any kind, as I think most Americans do, and I’ve heard my fair share after working at a bed and breakfast with a nice flow of international guests, but after the day I sat talking to a variety of people in a pub in Ireland, I can safely say that the Irish accent makes me happiest. There’s just something about it that makes me happy when I hear it, I don’t know how to explain it. Lastly, one thing that can always make me smile when I’m having a rough go of things is baby animals. Any sort of adorable little animal photo is amazing. When you’re having a down day just google baby animals, and I am 95% sure that it will make you a little happier.

With that, my 30 Day Challenge has officially begun. I am excited to give you all a bigger glimpse into what goes on in this odd mind of mine, and to give myself a bit of inspiration through the month. I think it will be something that I really enjoy trying to do everyday, and I hope there are a few of you out there that will enjoy reading it.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

20 Summer Goals

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Recently, a friend of mine challenged me to make a to-do list of sorts, of 20 goals I wanted to accomplish before summer ends. Instantly I thought that it was a silly idea for me. Would I even be able to think of 20 things to do before summer is over? Would I have any hope of completing the list? After a while, I realized that these thoughts were simply just self-doubt, and decided to go for it. So as I sat down with a notebook and pen in hand, ready to start writing, I stopped to think for a little while. I wanted these goals to be important to me. I wanted them to be things that meant something to me, and things that would enrich my life a little. Before I knew it, I had a dozen goals written down on paper, and it all started to feel a bit more real. I looked to some friends for more ideas and in no time I had my list of 20 goals, and was more excited than ever about the prospect of summer. Doing this little challenge has given me a renewed sense of excitement for summer, an excitement that I haven’t had since I was a kid getting out of school for summer break. Summer has taken on a new meaning now that I’m older. It’s no longer filled with endless amounts of free-time and popsicles on hot summer days; now it’s just filled with work, scorchingly hot days with little relief, and sweat, so much sweat. But these goals made me a bit more excited and motivated about everything. So without further ado, here are my 20 summer goals!

1.) Write a short story
2.) Make homemade pasta
3.) Learn how to paint (well) with watercolors
4.) Create a photo album of my favorite photos
5.) Attend at least four cultural/arts events (i.e. author events, art fairs, ethnic festivals, music events, etc)
6.) Write handwritten letters to at least three different people
7.) Stop putting off starting a blog just because you think people will find it silly
8.) Learn to whistle with my fingers
9.) Plant and grow a sunflower
10.) Cook a traditional dish from at least three different countries
11.) Take a baking or cooking class
12.) Try one new food every week
13.) Learn to sew, knit, or crochet, and make at least three homemade gifts to give at Christmastime
14.) Sleep under the stars
15.) Try five new cocktails
16.) Volunteer with at least three different charities/organizations
17.) Learn as much as possible about a culture different from my own
18.) Take one day each week to myself, with no distractions or obligations to worry about, to relax and decompress, no matter what!
19.) Do at least three new crafts
20.) Write about what I’ve done, how I’ve felt, and what I’ve daydreamed about each and every day in a journal

The best part about this list is that I haven’t put any pressure on myself with it. I don’t have unrealistic goals of completing each and every thing perfectly before summer comes to a close. If I don’t manage to complete something, the beauty of this list is that I can just add it to my next list of goals and continue! I hope you check back on this blog every so often to keep up with my progress on this list, and on all the other things I get up to.

I’m proud to say that I can officially check off number 7 on the list, because I have started this blog!

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx