How I Started Making Money Online

So, I’ve followed the realm of “online” work for quite some time now. I just could never find anything to invest in, the right schedule, or the timing to make working from home a possibility. That sounds silly, I know. How could you not make time to work from home? Well, when you’re trying to provide for a family, while going to school, options seem limited. Now that I’ve graduated, and right before our big move, I knew it was a do or die moment for me.

I was either going to work toward the dream I really wanted or I wasn’t. As simple (and complicated) as that. And every tutorial on how to make money online and/or from home will tell you — it takes some hustlin’ on your part.

So, at the beginning of May…I really started hustlin. But what did hustlin’ even look like?

  • I revamped my LinkedIn profile — updating it with info that I thought would help for the jobs I really wanted. Before, I rarely even touched my LinkedIn profile except to add a new job or update my school information. I never shared it with prospective employers/clients unless they specifically requested it because I knew it was neglected. Now, I’m in a few groups, I check out job leads through the search, and can easily share the link with any new clients. It doesn’t take much to get it up and running, and once you do, it’s super easy to upkeep!

    How I Started Making Money Online

  • I found VA/Blogging Facebook Groups and started engaging — I’m an introvert. Even in the interwebs, it’s hard for me to be social. I’m that blog lurker that loves my fav bloggers, but rarely adds a comment. And don’t even get me started on self-promotion. I strive for authenticity, so it’s hard to find a way to promote my work without feeling like a spammy salesman. So, VA/Blogging FB groups are a goldmine for introverts (and extroverts!) because they’re communities that are trying to support each other, share their work, and engage in discussion over anything and everything. **A little side note about these groups: Make sure you know the groups rules. Some groups have a specific thread to share your work, others don’t allow self-promotion, only questions and such. I found my first VA job through a FB group, so they are definitely valuable in my book.
  • I worked (and continue to work) on my design — Design is a HUGE deal in the realm of online entrepreneurship and blogging. There are way too many blogs out there that function well and look great, so your blog design game needs to be strong. And if it’s not strong — you need to research how to make it better or hire someone. This is an active work in progress (literally, I’m searching for tutorials on blog design) for me. My blog still isn’t quite where I want it to be as far as look and functionality, but I continue to work on it. There is a huge, wide array of tutorials across Pinterest and YouTube that you can utilize! Financially, I just can’t swing having somebody else do my design for me right now, and yes, that means more leg work for me. But I also love searching for tutorials and figuring stuff out for myself. So, it’s not bad if you like the work, right?

Working from home has been a goal of mine for several years, and now it’s finally becoming a reality. Soon, I’ll start sharing my income reports so we can watch the growth together!

If you work from home, how did you get started?

How to Repair Your Academic Mistakes

How to Repair Academic Mistakes - Cue to Cue MamaI just graduated with my BA in English (don’t even ask me what I’m going to use it for…) And it’s exactly 13 years after I graduated high school. Needless to say, my road to my degree was one marked with a lot of missteps, wrong turns, u-turns, and chaos.

In high school, I was often the student that was, “bright and engaged in class, but never does her homework.” Or “extremely bright, but doesn’t apply herself.” I heard some form of those two comments my entire high school career. And I knew that I wasn’t reaching my potential, but honestly, that’s never meant much to me. I value knowledge and education. So much, honestly. If I could be a lifelong student, I would be. Not for any other reason, but I love to learn. I am inspired when I’m engaged in learning. And I am a research nut. I have a question — I can guarantee you I will find an answer or resources to help me reach the answer. That being said, the idea of some sort of potential others saw in me, never really had an impact on me. It’s nice to feel like people believe in you, but I was always more interested in pursuing things that mattered to me — homework was often not that.

Out of high school, I went straight to college. I loved the new found freedom. I felt inspired by the new friendships I was creating. And most of all, I was enthralled in learning. I loved every moment of it. However, for the classes I didn’t like (College Algebra…) I just wouldn’t go. This was partly born out of anxiety and frustration–math has always been a struggle for me, the large lecture environment for math was not conducive to learning (at least not for me), and I can always find something that’s more important than going to classes I don’t like.  After that first school year – I failed out, moved back home, and started taking gen ed requirements at a local community college.

Then I got married.

Then I joined the military.

Then I got pregnant.

Then I got out of the military.

Then I got divorced

Then I had Z.

And started taking classes again. After a ton of life experience, I was determined to finish my degree. First, I tried an online program (one that really failed for me — non-engaging, not a very helpful admissions or financial aid department), then I went back to the community college (which was fantastic, led me to E, and plenty more), then tried a Graphic Design program online – another for-profit school that wasn’t very helpful or strong academically. I felt like I was paying a ton of money for an education I could teach myself. Then I applied for a school that I was over the moon about. I was packed, ready to move Z and I, only to find out 2 days before the move, the school hadn’t received one of my transcripts. And once they did, my GPA did not meet their minimum requirements.

I was absolutely devastated. This was the first program I couldn’t do something to get myself in. So, I went back to community college again…obviously over my credit hour limit, got my associates, then finally decided to go to a local university to finish my BA in English. I could go into a lot more detail about the journey it took to get me here, but I won’t bore you with the details.

So, how did I finally do it?

  • Write a ton of letters
    I wrote a ton of letters to admissions departments, financial aid departments, and even academic departments. I think the thing that saved me was just being honest. I was honest about how my time management skills were lacking, how I probably wasn’t ready for college at certain points in my life, how I had extenuating circumstances such as a divorce (and before that a marriage filled with turmoil), joining the military, losing a pregnancy 20 weeks in (and mourning for a long time after), and then having a child of my own. Even though some of the programs I attempted weren’t very inspiring, it was still no reason to do poorly in the classes. And I owned that. You will have so much more success if you own your experience — good and bad. After revealing your mistakes (and don’t feel like you have to go into great detail — you don’t…and probably shouldn’t), talk about goals you have, how you plan to repair your past mistakes, what’s inspired you to kick it into gear, and in particular what your end goal is and when you want to have it completed by. They want to know that you have a clear vision.
  • Identify your weak spots
    My weaknesses: time management, afternoon/evening classes, and focus. It is so important to identify your weaknesses, not to beat yourself up about them, but to give you some clarity on what you need to do to reach success. If you’re a person that tends to dwell (hello!) and harp on yourself, write down a strength for every weakness you have. And if you can’t do that. Take a break and come back to it the following day. Self-reflection and actualization does not have to lead to a depressing outlook. If anything, it should empower you because now you are aware and can plan accordingly. I figured out (after a few attempts -ahem-) that late afternoon/evening classes were just not my cup of tea. I’m a morning person, so I start to hit a wall around 3pm, and it’s incredibly hard for me to focus on anything time consuming or thought-intensive. So, if I was able, I tried to enroll in classes before 3pm or online. If I absolutely had  to take a late afternoon/evening class, I tried to schedule it for days that I didn’t have as much going on, so I wouldn’t feel so drained. Plus, one of my favorite classes was an evening class, so be flexible.
  • Make sure your lifestyle is ready.
    I’m a firm believer that sometimes you just have to take a leap and figure things out on the way down. But you really need to have your life on board for school. If you have kids, a job, or other responsibilities, research and find out all your options. Talk to your employer, they may even pay for part of your schooling, or they might tell you that it just won’t work with their business. I had to leave a job that I really liked because the hours they needed me for just couldn’t work with my school schedule. You have to make those choices and sacrifices and weigh whether or not they’re worth it.
  • Be fair to yourself.
    I am the queen of biting off more than I can chew. I’m a dreamer and can often be overly-ambitious. This is a reason I’m kind of glad that I hunkered down with school a little later. I knew that I sometimes get myself into situations where I agree to much more than I can actually handle. I finally had to be realistic. Taking 18 credit hours, balancing life with a fiancee and 6 year old, and a job, it led to total and complete burnout. And the semester after, I struggled to even read a page or write a sentence. I’m an introvert, so a constantly spinning schedule and interacting with tons of people on a daily basis is extremely draining for me. Know your limits and honor them. The more you do that, the more successful and sustainable you will be!

If you’ve really screwed academically or changed your mind on majors a billion times, it’s okay. There are plenty of us who have done the same. But you can bounce back! If you’ve ever made a misstep academically, what did you do to repair it?

When You’re Contemplating Homeschool…

This is a really difficult blog for me to write. Mostly because I never thought, for a second, that I would ever legitimately consider homeschooling for Z.

Here’s the thing, we will soon be relocating (halfway across the country). And the relocation is inspiring some extra thoughts in me regarding her education. I am finishing my degree in a few months (YAY!!!) and have always looked toward working from home (virtual assisting, proofreading, my Etsy shop..etc). This thought is really exciting and really scary. It takes a lot of motivation and endurance to do something like that, but I very much believe in creating the life you want, not allowing life to create itself. And so, over the past few months, I’ve been slowly building up my knowledge, my items, my ideas to do just that. I can be a dreamer and an idealist sometimes, and I’ve had to be painstakingly honest with myself about what will really be required of me to pull this off–and it’s a lot, but it’s certainly not impossible.

To Homeschool of Not - Questions, Concerns, and Solutions for a Non-Homeschooling Mom

But back to homeschooling, and why I’m considering it. Z hasn’t had a bad school experience at all. She’s had 2 wonderful teachers (and 2 great pre-k teachers before that) that have been inspiring, supportive, and all-around amazing. She’s active, has friends, and has taken to school really well. So, why would I want to change that? Especially since I’ve always been an avid supporter of public schooling (for a long time, I was going to be a teacher…) Well, I think our education system is a really broken one. This is a soapbox issue for me, so I’ll try not to sound too preachy, but bit by bit over the last 10-15 years, America’s education system has whittled away inspired teaching.

And let me  say this — I have no problem with teachers. In fact, I wholeheartedly support and value them. But I think they have been put in a near-impossible position. Their value as educators is now tied to (and almost completely built upon) testing. Mandatory state testing. Every time I read those damn words, it infuriates me. I was so fortunate in my schooling (public education) to have teachers that were able to creatively reach their students. Who could uphold standards without being suffocated by arbitrary testing. Who didn’t have to tailor every piece of their lesson plans toward some testing goal.

And while Z hasn’t reached the age that demands testing yet, I have already seen the ways they start to prepare the students for those tests (beginning in 3rd grade, where we live currently, and where we will be moving). And I don’t like it. I don’t like the amount of homework that a 6 year old has in a week. It’s absurd to me that a 6 year old even has homework (yep, I’m one of those). And when ranking America against other countries, we continue to fail. So, we think…more tests, get to them younger…and it has done nothing but suck every bit of inspired creativity out of education, in my opinion. In fact, I would say my educational standards are closely aligned with Finland. And I need to point out one of my favorite pieces from this article, when a Finnish principal responds to many of America’s leaders and businessman pushing for competition in testing between schools to gain money for their program, he says,” ‘I think, in fact, teachers would tear off their shirts,’ said Timo Heikkinen, a Helsinki principal with 24 years of teaching experience. ‘If you only measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect.'”

And that is really the core of my desire to homeschool. Sure, there are plenty of other things I like or find appealing, but when it comes down to it, that’s the heart of it. I want to teach Zoey how to learn to be a student of life, not a student for a test. I want practical application to be at the heart of her education, not scantrons. I want her life to be inspired by play, wonder, and creativity. And that is something that is just not available to her in America’s current education system.

Alright, there’s my soapbox. 🙂

Now, for my concerns with homeschooling.

CONCERN #1 – Socialization

Z is an only child (and may or may not stay that way, who knows), so socialization is a BIG concern. Z is a kid that thrives off of people. She quietly observes, but she is energized by people and interaction. So, I’m an outgoing introvert…she is a quiet extrovert. Funny, how that happens.

I know that Z would make new friends, experience new environments, and adapt well to a new school. She has an enormous amount of resiliency with new situations, and I’m confident she’d adjust to a new school just fine. In fact, when I asked her, “Would you ever want to be homeschooled?” She thought about it really hard and asked, “Well how would I make new friends?”

SOLUTION

Homeschool co-ops, outside activities (sports, enrichment classes…etc), and parent groups could all help with that. I’ve already found a couple that are in the area we will be moving to. I’ve also started researching activities, costs, and such. Luckily, I’m pretty good at this research thing, and where we’re moving has great weather nearly year round, which helps even more. Z has already played a few seasons of soccer, is currently in gymnastics, taking piano, and has plenty more interests. So, I think, if I budget well, socialization will not be a concern.

CONCERN #2 – FINANCES

Like I said in the beginning, I’m all about creating a life you want, not waiting for life to happen. I’m an English major (Creative Writing emphasis), and have always wanted to be a writer in one way or another. I have also have extensive knowledge and experience in office work & research, which I plan to use to my advantage.

I also have two Etsy stores that I’ve been working on nearly non-stop the last 2 months to get up and running.

So, why am I thinking about all this now? Well, for one, I’m a planner. But more importantly, I am also well aware that if I want to make money and be able to live the life I want, I have to work tirelessly for it. And the chance to be able to do that not only gives me a better quality of life, but it gives me the opportunity to build a life for Z that I want (and think is necessary).

How am I going to balance homeschooling with working from home? I don’t quite have those nuts and bolts figured out, however this post was incredibly helpful and inspiring to me. Also, this one. It’s not impossible. It just takes some planning.

CONCERN #3 – STANDARDS or AM I ENOUGH?

I’m walking into this idea of homeschooling with the knowledge that it may not work out. It may not be the cup of tea that I’m expecting (and Z is, for that matter). It may not fit Z the way I think it will. And in that case, she may be put back into “normal” schooling.

And this gives me the most anxiety. It’s the question that I’m sure burns inside many moms, parents, homeschooling or not. Am I enough? Will I be able to provide her with everything she needs to know (standards-wise) so that if she does go back into regular schooling, she won’t be behind or overwhelmed? And this can even go down the line. Say, we stick with homeschooling and it really works for us, what about college? Will she be prepared for it? Can I take that sort of pressure on? Will I be able to provide what she needs.

SOLUTION

The answer, I know, is simply yes to all the above questions. I am enough for her. But I am not the only person that will be available to her. We will have a community of people that can teach and guide and invest in her (ya know which also helps with concern #1).

And let’s be honest, one of my strengths is research. I can research til I am blue in the face and still be inspired to research more. I enjoy it. I’m good at it. If I don’t know the answer to something, I know how to find it. Whether it be through a group, a search engine, or a person. I know that I do not have to do this on my own. And frankly, Z is a pretty well-adjusted kid. If I continue to support the things that make her unique and interesting and valuable, I do believe that she can adapt to anything that comes her way. And isn’t that the main reason I wanted to begin this homeschooling journey to begin with?

So, there you have it. My thoughts, concerns, and ideas for homeschooling with Z. We still don’t know if this is the route we will take, but I want to be as educated and aware of all sides of the coin, before landing anywhere.

What would you all suggest? For those that homeschool, did you come from traditional schooling or did you always know that’s how it would be? Any other helpful hints, articles, tips you’d like to leave are greatly appreciated as well!

A Year of Mindfulness

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I am goal-oriented. I’m a dreamer, which means my goals can get wrapped up in grandiose visions of waking up peacefully, in my perfectly (naturally) lit home, grabbing some green tea and overnight oats for breakfast, and sitting down at my computer to write–and words flowing from brain through my fingers.

My life is more a crash course of waking up at 3am, falling back asleep by 6am, only to wake up to an alarm at 7am, fumbling to get coffee with vanilla creamer, and talking at myself about all the things I want to write, but never actually do.

Yeah, I forgot breakfast.

2015 was an insane year. From January on, I was in constant “go” mode. For those new to the blog, I’m a full-time student, and during the spring semester I took 15 credit hours. Not too shabby, pretty average. And then, for the fall semester, I took 18 credit hours. Only one In fact, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about it. Every person in a 5 mile radius has probably heard it.

I talked about it a lot.

I meet someone new? Talk about 18 credit hours.

Getting coffee? Tell the barista about being a mom to a 6 year old while taking 18 credit hours (Yes, I know I could’ve written “whilst taking 18 credit hours,” but no one actually says whilst. So, stop writing it. I hate the word whilst. Hate. It).

And I loved the, “I don’t know how you do it,” comments. I loved being busy. Or people believing I was busy. I mean, if you’re busy, you’re productive.

If you’re busy, you’re successful.

If you’re busy, you’ve got your shit together.

I was addicted to busy. I still am. And I think it’s an area that needs some tending to.

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For the last 2 years or so, this whole idea of mindfulness has started to work it’s way into my brain. About 2 years ago, I was going weekly to a fantastic therapist who quickly saw how overwhelmed and high strung I was. What’s interesting  is most people wouldn’t classify me as high strung. Ever. In a million years. I’m low key. Laid-back. Slower energy. And I stumbled on why that is. The hamster inside my head is going so astronomically fast that my outward energy has to be slow to compensate for how overwhelmed the poor guy is. Does that make sense? Eh, I don’t know. It’s 6am and I’ve been up for 2 hours, make sense of it yourself.

Anyway, I’m seeing this therapist. And after our first session she mentions the word, “mindfulness.” And she starts giving me these exercises. Some of them I’d learned in theatre (ie. Focusing on your breath to bring you to the present moment).

And then I start researching mindfulness. And I find stuff about meditating and yoga. Oooh, I love yoga. And meditating sounds great in theory, but lord knows, I will never get my mind quiet enough to meditate. Right?

But I try it anyway. I find Headspace and not only is the dude British with a great accent, but I actually like meditating. Let me just say, on a side note, that I still can’t really meditate for longer than 10 minutes. My to-do list starts overtaking my thoughts and I have to quit. But hey, I’m trying.

So, I see this therapist for a little over a year, and I really start to take control of my anxiety. I’m able to settle myself down much quicker. Less panic. Less worry.

And the exercises I did with her way back when are still useful and working today.

But now I’m in conflict.

Because I love being busy, remember? And being busy often takes you out of the present moment. Even just now, I went away from working on this post, to looking for a graphic for this post so I could pin it and share it, and then decided I’d design my own on PicMonkey because I’m working on that whole “find your blog aesthetic,” only to come back to this post and realize that I’m really failing at this mindfulness thing.

What I learned from 2015? Busy didn’t make me productive. Sure, I got schoolwork done (which is good, and I’m proud of), but I didn’t grow the things I really wanted to grow. My blog, my business. Those all took a backseat to school. Even Z and E took a backseat at times. And while I’m sure school needed to be the front runner at points, it didn’t need to be the only runner, and sometimes it was.

So, 2016 will be the year I tackle this wonderful idea of staying present. Where I’ll talk less about being busy. I don’t know what I’ll replace that with yet, but I know that it’s necessary.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m not big on resolutions, but I am big on goals. And this is certainly my goal.

5 years…and a playlist

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5 years ago, this guy started a crazy journey with Zo and me. So much has happened in those years. I’ve grown. He’s grown. And I’ve learned that…

Home will always be people, not places. And sometimes our journey to home is filled with stumbles and victories, but the journey is always worth it.

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I’ve learned that laughter and silliness add so much to life. And that if you can find someone who brings out your inner goof, you’ve struck gold. Life doesn’t last forever, spend it laughing.

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I’ve learned that families are forged, not pre-determined. You fight for family. Because family is home, and we all know that home is where we all want to be.

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I’ve learned that people grow and change. Growth takes patience. And patience is normally born out of trials. Trials that will test the deepest parts of you.

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I’ve learned that inside jokes keep people together. I know that sounds ridiculous, but when you let someone in, and you expose all your idiosyncrasies, you will develop your own little language. A language that no one else understands but you. And that can get you through really tough times.

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I’ve learned that having enthusiasm is one of the most attractive features a person can have. To watch someone live in curiosity and to share that with them is exhilarating

Our journey has been one of the biggest adventures I’ve experienced and it’s only the beginning. So, to celebrate, here’s my version of a lovey dovey playlist. Enjoy!

Building a Thankful Tree

How to Create a Thankful Tree

I’m a festive person.

Alright, that’s an understatement.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the holiday season. From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to the New Year, I’m a maniac. I constantly scour Pinterest for new ideas, and I’ve found a balance between having a Pinterest holiday and a practical one. I’ve found in my few years on Pinterest that I will never attain the perfection that can be found, but that I can reinterpret ideas I see to fit my life and skills.

A few years back, I found several ideas for a Thankful tree. Thanksgiving often gets shafted between Halloween and Christmas. And a lot of it stems from many of us realizing the origins of the holiday aren’t exactly the rosy circumstances we were taught as kids. However, I’ve chosen to make the holiday about being mindful and thankful for my life and the various people and things that make it what it is. You can’t change the past, but you can embrace the now and choose to make traditions that are meaningful. And yes, I know you should be thankful every day (and I try to be), it’s sometimes nice to have a season really dedicated to reminding you of that.image4 (1)

So, this year…I decided to bring down the Christmas tree extra early and decorate it as a thankful tree. I bought some fall garland on clearance from the local craft store, some fake leaves, pumpkins, gourds and such, and then some leaf shaped cards to write a thing to be thankful for every day.

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It’s pretty humble, but also convenient. Once Thanksgiving is done, we’ll be able to take the fall decor down, and already have our Christmas tree up! Every morning, we each write a thing we’re thankful for and place it on the tree. Super simple, super cheap, and a nice sentiment! Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?

Taking Care of Your Mental Health as a Student

With the end of fall comes finals, winter blues, and darker mornings and nights. While this is part of the routine, it can cause a lot of undue stress, anxiety, and even depression. People mention having the “winter blues” which is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can be easy to scoff at that, but as someone that has dealt with anxiety and depression on and off for majority of my life, seasons definitely affect my mood, energy, and overall motivation. And of course that affects how I deal with schoolwork and class load. And if there’s anything I’ve learned since going back to school full-time, mental health is just as important as physical health.

This semester, I’m taking 18 credit hours. And being a mom while doing it can make me feel stretched extremely thin, most of the time. On top of that, I’m an extreme introvert, which means I need a lot of down time and alone time to recharge, and that’s near impossible with my circumstances. I don’t say any of this to wallow or have a pity-party. It’s exactly the opposite, really. I’ve found a few things that help me maintain focus and keep energy positive during the winter months (or any time when I’m struggling). I have to mention that I am no health professional, this all just comes from my own personal experience.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health as a Student

1. Find time to breathe – Whether it’s taking a hot shower, staying up late to watch a show or read a book you really love, or taking a quick walk. Find at least 10 minutes in your day to breathe, cry, scream, or relax.

2. Know thyself. Be aware of your rhythms. I know that I focus much better earlier in the morning and that my focus is total crap in mid-afternoon. I know that I’m super motivated on Sundays, but Fridays are a struggle. I know that late-night cram sessions NEVER work for me, but then if I get to bed early and wake up early, I focus and remember a lot easier. And while I know that I won’t always get my ideal circumstance, the more I know about myself, the easier it will be to set myself up for success.

3. Know when to take a break. It can be really difficult to break away from the work when you have a lot stacked up against you, but you have to be kind to yourself. Whether it’s a 30 sec, 30 minute, or 3 hour break, know when it’s necessary. Sometimes, it will mean skipping a class…if you need to, do it.

4. A good laugh and a hot shower cure a whole lot of stress. Self-explanatory!

5. Know when to buckle down. At some point, you just have to buckle down and get it done. No excuses, no bitching, no complaining.

6. Remember that school is not the end-all, be-all. Life is bigger than a degree. Believe me, I know that it feels like everything hangs in the balance and is crucial to every move you make. Your career, your future, everything can seem extremely overwhelming around this time of year. Just try to remind yourself (even if you have to repeat it out-loud to yourself..) This degree does not define me. And life is happening and is much bigger than any of this.

Thanksgiving Printable

It’s been a goal of mine to start offering FREE printables on my blog. And with the holidays around the corner, you’ll be seeing many more. Print to your heart’s desire, and if you share it, please link back to me! (Also…don’t sell it…because…well, that’s just icky).

 

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Download your FREE printable here!

#19

Dear Zoey,

It’s no surprise to you that I love sports. You often tell me, “But mommy…you ALWAYS watch (insert hockey, football, baseball here)!” I get teary during the Olympics. I’m a sucker for a good sports movie. Sports have been ingrained in me since I was your age. And last night, a huge thing happened in Kansas City. The Royals won the World Series. And I know that’s a weird thing to write you about, but this whole season is one that is unparalleled to (almost) any other season for any other team, in any other sport that I watch.

Two years ago, if you would’ve told me that I would be watching an entire season of baseball on TV, I would’ve laughed at you. I prided myself on saying things like, “I like going to baseball games, but hate watching it on TV.” And then add watching the Royals, and I’d have really laughed in your face because…well the Royals sucked. They sucked bad…for a lot of years. They were a joke. A laughing stock. Absolutely no one (not even the real fans, honestly) took them seriously.

And then last year, they surprised us. They were the little engine the could. The underdog. The upset. And it was exhilarating. It was exciting to live in a town that was so fully invested into something together.

And they lost. And it freakin’ hurt. An entire nation, practically, was rooting them on, and in the end, it didn’t go the way we (or they) wanted. But since they were the underdog, we, as a city, accepted the lost and were proud of them regardless of the outcome. And even with all the hype and craziness of last season, I don’t think any fans could have anticipated the type of club they became this season.

See, this baseball team. This group of guys taught us a whole lotta lessons. They’ve become known as a team of resilience. When they find themselves in adverse situations, they dig deep and find a way to bounce back. Time and time again, just about every announcer said, “This is a team that does not quit.” And as this season has progressed I kept asking myself, “Why the hell am I watching a baseball game on a Wednesday night?” or “Who would’ve thought I’d have known the entire Royals lineup?” but most importantly, I asked myself, “Why is this team different?”

What made the Royals different from any other baseball team?

They were selfless.

Sure, you’ve heard the cliche “no I in team.” But the Royals lived it. Any one of those players could have been the MVP. Every single one of those players (starting or not) did something to push the team further. They showed, with more clarity than just about any team I watch, what teamwork is. They made baseball fun again with their quirky personalities and love of their fans. They created a team that people trusted. A team that put their heads together and got to work. The weight of the season was never on one or two players shoulders (like we see with so many other teams and sports). The entire team took that responsibility, and look at their result.

Baby girl, there is a lot to be learned from this team. They embody hard work, resiliency, humor, friendship, responsibility, kindness, selflessness. They play this game for the purity of it. It’s not about contracts or money or fame. Because for a long time, these guys didn’t have that (compared to other teams). And I can tell you, there is nothing better than seeing someone’s dreams come true after working so hard to reach them.

So, just remember, you may not be taken seriously. Your dreams may seem distant and impossible, but if you work hard. If you fight tooth and nail. If you are unwavering toward your goal, but flexible about your process, you can do anything. If the Royals could do it, absolutely anybody can.

Be Royal,
Mama

Royals World Series Champs 2015

September/October 2015 Playlist

As I mentioned in my blog update, September and October were definitely months of survival for me. Now that I’m more than halfway through this semester, I’m in a routine, and not feeling as overwhelmed. Because of that, my playlists will be joined for the past two months. I am LOVING Spotify’s new Discover Weekly playlist that they created. If you haven’t noticed, Spotify has created a “Discover Weekly” playlist for each individual based on their musical tastes. And I have not been disappointed. So, a lot of the music i discovered or was inspired by came from those playlists (they’re updated every Monday). It’s really a modge-podge of music that helped keep my creative juices going as well as helping me maintain focus. What do you listen to get your creative mojo going?