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7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Hello, everyone! It’s another week which means another blog post! After last week’s rather sad post about losing my cat, I thought I’d try to brighten up my blog by posting a fun post all about me! (How narcissistic, but very fun for me to write!) Therefore, I present to you, seven facts you might not know about me- but after reading my post, will therefore know. Please use this information wisely and for good, never for evil. I’m trusting you!

I was tagged by Delta over at The Dead Books. She is an author, blogger, and all around fantastic person, so please check her out and send her some love.

Now, onto the facts aka or, rather, useless pieces of information that are about me! But honestly, it was super fun to write and really lifted my spirits. So I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

#1: I Love Elephants
It may have been because my mom introduced to the Babar the elephant books when I was very little, but ever since then, I’ve always loved elephants. There’s just something about these incredibly wrinkly, gentle intelligent giants with trunks that steal my heart. Plus, baby elephants are the cutest baby animals ever (have you seen that video of the baby elephant stepping on it’s trunk? Ridiculously cute!), and I heard a study that said that elephants view us the way we aka humans view dogs: they think we’re cute! Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard? It’s been a goal in my life for years to meet and befriend an elephant because I feel like I have a special connection with them. I hope I can get to meet one one day! (And that it’ll like me. Can you imagine if I finally got to meet an elephant and it tried to kill me? I’d probably die laughing from the irony. Like, literally. Because being trampled by an elephant is no joke.)

#2: I’m Really Interested in the Paranormal, But I’ve Never Seen a Ghost (I want to though! Or do I…?)
It started when I first discovered the paranormal section in the kids section at the library and from then on, I was hooked. I was reading ghost stories, Goosebumps books, and then later, horror movies and those ghost hunting reality shows. I was obsessed! (And still am!) I have a whole spooky bucket list of creepy places I’d like to visit (like haunted hotels, asylums, cemeteries, etc.) and see if I can experience anything or even ghost hunt a little! But as much as I’d love to see a ghost and find out if they’re real, I’m a little afraid of what I may encounter if I do actually encounter one. Would I freeze? Actually function and try to take a picture? Or try to communicate? Okay, let’s be honest, I’d probably just black out. But what a fun story it would be!

#3: I Love the Smell of Coffee but Absolutely Hate the Taste.
It makes coffee dates at Starbucks and coffee shops very awkward:

Date: “What are you going to get?”

Me: “Er, water.”

Date: “That’s it?”

Me: “Um, maybe a muffin?”

Date: “Do you not like coffee?”

Me: “Uh, not really.”

Date: “Then why did we meet here???”

Me: “Because that’s what people do when they meet a person for a date that they met off of an app!!!”

Story of my life.

#4: I’d Much Rather Shop Online for Clothes Than Go Actual Clothes Shopping in a Store
It’s easier for me to see how it looks on the model posing in it online, plus I don’t have the patience to go through racks and racks of clothes and then try things and then get frustrated that I don’t like anything. I’m very picky about the clothes I like and trying on clothes is one of the most exhausting things in the world! And don’t get me started on trying on jeans! (Bane of my existence!)

#5: I Absolutely Love the Rain
The sound of it, the smell of it, the cloudy gray skies that come with it. Ah, it’s just magical. Maybe it’s because I live in the desert where we don’t get a lot of rain, but when it rains it always feel like a wonderful day. I know that’s the opposite for most people, but having a day off where it’s raining, and you can cuddle up on the couch with a book, a snack, something to drink, and a pet by your feet while listening to the rain, is the loveliest day I can think of. And I’m such a horror fan that thunder and lightning makes me happy too!

#6: I Feel Like My Heart and Soul Belong in England
I blame it all on Harry Potter. I was hooked on England from the moment I read those books. That country must be magical if that’s where Hogwarts is and the author who wrote those books lives. For years, I had to have everything with a Union Jack, red telephone booth, or Big Ben on it or shaped like one of them. I loved anything that had to do with British history, like the Tudors and Queen Elizabeth. I just grew to love it more and more, with all of it’s rich history, historical landmarks, the royals, and the fact that it rained there all the time (see above) and was so rich with greenery. When I finally got to go a few years ago, it felt like coming home. Sort of. One of my biggest dreams is that I first either win or inherit a bonkers amount of money, buy a nice flat in London, and then buy an adorable, old English cottage in the countryside somewhere in England, where it’s beautiful and green and looks like it came out of a storybook. But sadly, I never play the lottery and have no distant rich relatives that are on their deathbeds and have put me in their will. Sigh.

#7. I Hate Bananas
There. I said it. I KNOW everyone loves them. I KNOW they’re very healthy and a great substitute for baking. I KNOW being vegetarian and even vegan means that you HAVE to LOVE bananas. But I honestly can’t stand them. They don’t taste that great, and I hate their texture. Mushy and stringy from where the peel came away. I mean, it’s cool that they have their own natural case, like oranges, but at least oranges are tasty! But who seriously saw a banana turn black and though “hmm… let’s see what we could do with this..." and then saved it and turned it into a BREAD instead of THROWING IT OUT like you do with most other fruits that turn BLACK??? Sorry, I'm just very passionate about my dislike of bananas. I mean, they look super cute, but are otherwise a very gross fruit.

So what did you think of my seven facts you didn’t know about me? Does anyone else love the smell of coffee but dislike the taste? I’d love to know if there are more people like me out there! (Should we form a support group?) Let me know in the comments what you think about the post!

Stay Weird,

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Remembering My Cat, D.W.

This is one of those posts I was never hoping to write. At least not for another 10+ years. No one wants to lose their pet. It’s heart-breaking to put down a pet when they're pushing 12 years old, or even 15, like a lot of cats are. But I had to put my cat down recently. And she was only a year old. This is going to be a heart-breaking post to write, but I want to do it because I would like to share my experience, and remember all the wonderful things about my cat. My sweet, spunky, and crazy cat D.W.

July 2018 vs July 2019. Look at that glow up! That Weird Girl Life
It was only a month or so ago that I wrote a blog post about having D.W. for a full year. It was a really fun post to write, plus I got to share the cutest before and after picture of her and myself (see above). From kitten to full grown cat, D.W. (in my humble opinion) was always beautiful. Pretty, short white fur, green eyes, and the pinkest nose and paw pads (aka toe beans). I got her when she was teeny-tiny, just a little white floof, but from the moment I saw her, she stole my heart.

The very first day I got my floof! That Weird Girl Life
She grew quickly and so did her attitude. She was headstrong and inquisitive from the beginning, and all she wanted to do was either cuddle or play. She was the welcome cat in our home, always there to usher a visitor into the house (or try to escape out the front door and sometimes the backdoor, if the occasion arose) and introduce herself (whether the person liked it or not). She was mischievous and it seemed like a trait she would never grow out of.

The very start of D.W.'s bathroom fixation. That Weird Girl Life
But a few weeks ago, D.W. started acting strangely. I know this sounds weird, but I could tell she wasn’t acting like herself. She was distancing herself from me, staying in my room less, and staying away from me. She planted herself in my parents room and wouldn’t budge off the floor. It hurt, but I thought maybe she was angry at me for something (you know how cats can be). But at one point I told my sister: “it’s like she doesn’t love me anymore.” D.W. was my cat, she always cuddled with me, my room was her room, and I was her person. I kept asking my family if they thought she was sick, and they just told me the weather was probably too hot for her. But after a day of just sitting there and not moving, even my parents had to conclude she was not herself. I made an appointment with the vet the next day and took her in.

The night before the vet appointment, I remember picking D.W. up off my parent’s floor and taking her into my room and into my bed with me. I didn’t know what the news would be from the vet, and I just wanted to spend time with her. I was scared. I was hoping it was just a cold, but she looked so...sad. And defeated. I cuddled with her as best as I could and tried to just enjoy her presence, her breathing, her furry warm body against mine, but after a while she jumped down and left my room. I tried not to think of it as a bad sign, but I couldn't help but think that it was.

At the vet’s the next day, the news was not good. The vet tech immediately took a look at D.W. and said, “this is one sick cat.” Her gums, ears, and skin were extremely pale. They weighed her and she had lost two pounds in a month, which is a lot for a cat. The vet tech took her temperature rectally, which D.W. always hated, but this time she didn’t even flinch. I knew something was really, really wrong then. The vet came in and said she was extremely dehydrated and they needed to run an IV and a blood panel. When the blood panel finally came back, the results were bad: D.W. was deathly anemic. Her levels should have been at a 30. They were at a 4. The vet told us we needed to get her to an animal hospital as soon as possible, or think about putting her down, because without a blood transfusion, she wouldn’t survive.

I, thankfully, had my dad accompany me that day, so he drove to the animal hospital while I tried to talk to D.W. and not freak out. At the vet’s office, the vet had asked if she had eaten anything toxic. A plant, a food, chemicals. I couldn’t think of a plant in our house that was toxic, a random food she may have eaten, and my family is so careful with cleaning products, we won’t even let the cats walk on the floor after we’ve mopped, just in case. I was wracking my brain, thinking I had let something bad happen to my cat, when we got to the animal hospital.

Everyone at the animal hospital was so nice, and it was set up little an actual hospital, just on a much smaller scale. I filled out some forms, and they took D.W. back to start an IV. I was trying not to cry (okay, I was sobbing), calling my mom and sister, updating them, and having bad flashbacks to when my own dad was in the hospital last year, when my whole family thought we were going to lose him. All I kept thinking was “this is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening.”

Eventually, they called myself and my dad into an exam room. A very nice vet met us back there and introduced herself. She explained a little bit about D.W.’s anemia and how severe it was. We talked about how D.W. essentially wasn’t making enough blood to survive, and this could mean a variety of things. They could do a blood panel to test for certain types of cancer, even a bone marrow biopsy. She suggested a blood transfusion, but explained that cat blood transfusions are complicated. You have to match blood types, etc. and it would help, but they needed to find the underlying issue. Was it something toxic she ingested? Was it cancer? Or something else entirely? She explained that they could do all the testing here, but for her to stay over night to be tested would range from $2,500 to $3,000. Just for that first night. I was shocked. I immediately started crying. I didn’t want the vet to think I didn’t want to treat D.W., but I explained that I really didn’t have the money, and if I had the money, of course I would spend it all on her to make her feel better. But I didn’t want to torture her with tests. You can’t explain to your pet that you’re having people hurt them to save their life. The vet was so sweet and started tearing up herself, when she said that the really interesting thing about being in veterinary medicine was that humane euthanasia is a viable option. She said it in a very understanding way, perhaps knowing the way things were starting to go.

I told her I loved my cat so much and that I had only had her for a year. That I didn’t even realize something was wrong until a few days ago. The vet reassured me that cats are excellent at hiding how they are feeling when they’re sick, so sometimes, it may be too late to do anything, and that I shouldn’t blame myself. She then gave my dad and myself some time to think about our options and left the room. I immediately started crying again, while my dad muttered something about “this was not how I was imagining things to go today…” Same, Dad. Same.

My dad and I talked and we eventually agreed that we couldn’t put her through all these invasive tests. It wasn’t fair to D.W., and I would probably lose all of my savings in the process. And the thing the vet and my dad pointed out was, even if we did find out what was wrong with D.W., what if we just ended up putting her to sleep after all of this testing? She was already suffering so much, and I didn’t want her to suffer even more. I made the hardest decision ever to put her to sleep.

They let me hold her for as long as I wanted before. She was wrapped in a blanket, wet with saline from the IV, and smelled like rubbing alcohol. Her eyes were glassy as she looked out around her, but when I would say her name, her tail would wag. She still remembered me. I let my dad hold her, and as I was handing her to him, she pooped. Oh, that girl. Mischievous until the end. I held her again after that, just rocking her back and forth and thanking her for being my cat. She looked so miserable, it was like she was a shadow of the cat she was. But she was still mine and I didn’t want to let her go. But I knew I had to.

The vet finally came back in and asked if we were ready. I nodded and she let me hold D.W. in her blanket. D.W. already had an IV port in her paw, so the vet was able to administer the syringes into the port directly. The first syringe was a numbing agent, and the second was to stop her heartbeat. I got to say my goodbyes and I love you’s, as D.W. slipped away. Once they took her body away and the vet said she was sorry and left the room, I started crying hysterically. My dad awkwardly patted me on the back as only a father can do, as I cried my heart out. My little girl was gone. She was only a year old and now I didn’t have her anymore. She was just...gone.

I left with a little clay ornament of her paw prints, a remembrance I knew I wanted once I had decided on letting her go. I kept looking at it on the ride home, tracing her paw indentations, and remembering when she was alive and with me, just a few minutes ago.

I don’t remember much of that day, except that I kept crying and my chest hurt. And I kept crying for the next few days. The tears eventually went away, but that ache in my chest wouldn’t go away. Sometimes it's still there and it’s been weeks.

I keep looking for her, especially in those first few days. I’d spot something white out of the corner of my eye, thinking it was D.W., but of course it wasn’t. Sleeping was awful without her. She would usually join me for early morning cuddles and to wake up alone was gut-wrenching. I still sleep with her favorite blanket, the one she used to knead and nurse on, just as a reminder of her.

The days are now getting easier, but I still miss her so much. She wasn’t supposed to be gone this quickly. When I first got her, she was supposed to be my ride or die cat. Just like my cat Harriet before her, who I had had since she was a kitten, and had to put her down after 14 years together last year. Putting two cats down that I had loved so much in two years is so painful. I hope no one has to go through that like I did.

The pain is easing each day and that awful day that I just recounted is being been slowly replaced by the happy memories I had with her. I know I only had her for a year, but that lively white cat changed my life. She was bright, sweet, and silly. Everyone in my family loved her and was charmed by her.

So to end this long, sad post on a happier note, here are some happy memories I have of D.W.:
  • She loved it when my sister would offer her cream cheese. Every time my sister had a bagel with cream cheese, D.W. would be over by her in a second, her pink nose twitching, readying for a bit of cream cheese. It was the sweetest thing ever. And then D.W. would, of course, try to go back for seconds.
  • Her purr was so loud! She would only really purr when she was kneading, but it was still the most comforting sound in the world and would warm my heart when I heard it.
  • She loved to visit people in the bathroom. Whether it was me showering or just using the bathroom, she would wait outside the bathroom door and meow until I let her in. It was like she just wanted to have some company and how dare I shut her out of the room I was in?
  • One of D.W.’s favorite spots was behind the TV in the TV cupboard. She would jump up and then hide behind the TV, taking catnaps in the evening while we watched a movie. I’m not saying I closed the cupboard doors on her a few times (accidentally, of course), but I’m also not saying I haven’t (I remembered very quickly and let her out, don’t worry!).
  • She was always trying to escape! Either through the front door, or the back door, but the countless times I had raced around the backyard with my heart in my throat, would always scare me to death! After I had captured her, I would march her inside and hug and berate her for terrifying me like that. Before she was starting to feel sick, I was thinking about getting her a leash and harness, just to see if she’d enjoy the great outdoors in a more civilized manner. Plus, she would have looked super cute in a harness.
  • She was such a faithful and loyal snuggler. She would sit with me on the couch when I was reading and at night, she’d always say goodnight and cuddle with me, before sleeping somewhere else for most of the night. But she would always, always cuddle with me in the mornings while I slept. Sometimes at my feet, usually at my side, and occasionally right by my head. We have some very sweet pictures of her resting with me while I sleep. I look awful and she looks adorable.
That belly though! That Weird Girl Life
  • D.W. loved everyone. From my family, my friends, to friends of the family, and random people doing work on the house, she was friendly and playful and wanted to make everyone feel at home. Whether it was showing off by playing or scratching the furniture, or snuggling up right next to them, she was the perfect little furry welcoming committee anyone could have asked for.
D.W. with her best friend Violet. That Weird Girl Life
  • Everyone who has met her has a D.W. story. She was goofy, silly, and lovely and always made a (usually) great impression on everyone she met. She was just perfect that way. And to me, perfect in every way.
No matter what, even though she’s gone, she will always be my cat. I was so happy to have her, even if it was only for a year, and what a year that was, full of memories and adorable pictures I will cherish forever. I know she loved me, and I hope, I truly do, that she knew I loved her more than I could ever express. I’ll always love my baby girl and I will never ever forget her.

The very last picture I ever took of D.W. That Weird Girl Life
Thank you for letting me ramble about D.W. and thank you if you read this entire post. I just wanted to have a piece of her on my blog, since this is my blog about my life, and she was such a big part of it. I wish you all could have met her, but I hope you feel like you knew her a little after reading this post and my previous one about her. If you have a pet, hug them close and remember how lucky you are to have them in your life and for them to have you in their life. Do it for me, and for D.W.

Stay Weird,

The Blogger Recognition Award

About The Award

The Blogger Recognition Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. It aims to help bloggers’ get their work recognized by and promoted to other bloggers. As with any award, there are some rules for nominees –

* Thank the blogger who nominated you for the nomination and link to their blog.

* Write a blog post on your site displaying the award that describes why you started your blog

* Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers

* Nominate and notify 15 more bloggers

So here it goes! I’m incredibly honored to have been nominated by Julie over at Dark Blue Journal. She’s a fantastic blogger who writes about minimalism, the environment, and real life. She is such a talented writer and her posts are always so well researched and writes in such a real and beautiful way. If you’re not already reading her blog, you need to! Plus, she's super sweet and just a lovely person all around!

What Brought Me to Blogging:

I have to admit, I started blogging because I was curious and bored and needed an outlet for my thoughts. My blog has been through many forms before it eventually became That Weird Girl Life (first it was a bucket list blog, then a travel blog. I don’t even travel that much! What was I thinking?? Who would read a travel blog from someone who doesn’t GO ANYWHERE???), but I’m happy on what I’m focusing on now- mental health, the occasional adventure (again, when do I travel??), and real life things. I love being able to write about what I want to write and finding other people who can relate to what I’ve gone through or who just enjoy what random things I scribble out. It’s honestly such a joy and an incredible creative outlet. If only I could do this for a living! (*Crosses fingers and hopes a genie grants her wish*)

Advice for New Bloggers:

I have a few suggestions:

#1. Do it because you love it. If you end up making money through it, great, but don’t forget the real reason why you wanted to blog in the first place. Whether is was to have an outlet to speak your mind, write about a passion, or advocate, never let go of that.

#2: Your blog will never be perfect. It will always be in a constant state of change, just like you, as you learn and grow. So don’t think you have to know the exact plan for your blog is before you start. Just start it, or you never will! Blogs change and grow, for the better. You will find your niche (or be a crazy niche-less blogger like me!), your passion, your voice, you’ll take or find better photographs, make better graphics, promote your blog better. It just takes time and experience. So don’t be afraid- just start and go for it!

My Nominations:

(In no particular order, because I admire each and every one of these people and their blogs! Also, I apologize if you've been nominated before or don't want to do the tag! Just know I tagged you because I think highly of you all! 💙)

1. The Dee Who Lived: Daisy is such a great blogger and the embodiment of a Hufflepuff! (I bet she’s a great finder, too!) If you’re a Harry Potter fan, or just a fan of good blogs, you’ll love her! (Plus, she has a Youtube channel, too)

2. Frantasmorgia: Frantasmorgia has a fran-tastic (I know, I’m sorry) blog where she writes about true crime and other spooky and creepy things. It’s so different from so many other blogs out there, so if you’re in the mood for something bone-chilling, you need to check out her blog.

3. Nicole San Miguel: If you need a travel and lifestyle blog to read, Nicole’s is great! She writes about her journeys and adventures traveling and has some great product reviews. Also, her travel pictures are gorgeous!

4. Zombie Goddess Beauty: Cassie is a jack of all trades. She’s a blogger and a fantastic artist/graphic designer and has her own Etsy shop. She writes about everything from beauty, art, Wicca, and geeky stuff!

5. Chimmyville: Kim, also known as Kimmy or Chimmykins), is a lifestyle blogger who writes about just everything! Her posts are so real and relatable. Trust me, you’ll love her and her blog! (Also, she’s a fellow Ravenclaw!)

6. Black Pistachio: Athina is not only a lifestyle blogger, but she also blogs about beauty and mental health. She writes about a little bit of everything but has some really well written posts about a variety of very real and important subjects. If you haven’t read her blog yet, you need to!

7. In the Flux: Payton is the blogger behind the blog In the Flux, a lifestyle blog. She also writes about mental health, along with other posts to help improve yourself. Her blog is so underrated, so I highly suggest you check it out!

8. Rooting Branches: Anne is a lifestyle blogger who writes about mental health, beauty, books, and food. Her writing is honest and real and her blog, Rooting Branches, has a little bit for everyone, including some short stories to read!

9. Mxrshmallow Queen: Eleanor is a blogger whose blog is filled with color and cuteness, realness and honesty. She’s a lifestyle blogger who doesn’t shy away from what’s real and what matters. She’s also a Youtuber, so check her out there!

10. The Little Dismaid: Arielle is a not only a Disney, lifestyle, and mental health blogger, but she’s also an author too! She knows the ins and outs of Disney World and its parks, and her blog is a Disney fan’s dream!

11. Single Vegas Girl: If you’re single and on a dating app, you NEED to read Marie’s blog. From horrible and hilarious online dating profiles to awkward dates, her blog is hilarious and gets real about the modern world of dating. Plus, she also writes about her travels abroad too!

12. La La's Book Reviews: Lauren over at Lala’s Book Reviews is your one stop shop for all things Y.A. books! From reviews, to book suggestions, new releases, and book tags (plus some bookish unboxing posts! Love those!), her blog is perfect for book lovers, whether you love Y.A. or not! (But you know you do!)

13. Aoibhneas Travels: Katie is hilarious and knows how to make a travel blog her own. From reviewing NYC street foods to exploring haunted places, she’ll give you the real deal on everything you need to know about where she’s exploring (and what she’s eating!)

14. Sometimes I Write: Steph is a fairly new blogger, but I love her writing style already! She wrote a really awesome post about how being active on social media doesn’t mean that you’re unhappy, which was so thought provoking. Give her a follow and tell her to keep on blogging!

15. Miss Blogs-A-Bit: Miss Blogs-A-Bit’s blog is literally about whatever she wants to blog a bit about! From the brilliant post about not wanting to have children (and to stop asking her about it, which I completely related to), to travel and lifestyle (trip to the biggest Lush store, anyone?), she’s a blogger you need to be subscribed to!

And there you have it! That was my post dedicated to the Blogger Recognition Award! I'm so honored that Julie nominated me! I hope someone on my list of nominations keeps this tag going, because I'd love to read their tags. So if I tagged you, let me know if you did the tag, because I want to read and comment! And let me know if you've ever been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award or any other blogger award. I'd love to know what your thoughts on blogger awards/tags are!

Stay Weird,

Small Ways to Support Your Fellow Bloggers

I’m not an expert blogger, by any means. Not at all. But some things I have noticed about blogging (besides it being fun!), is the blogging community. Your family and friends may be supportive of your blog, but you will find no one more supportive of your blog than a fellow blogger. The blogging community as a whole is so encouraging, kind, and uplifting. We’re all here to blog: to share our ideas, thoughts, stories, and more and the special part of our community is that we all are encouraging each other to create more content, promote it, and succeed. It’s honestly such a beautiful thing, and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t participate in it as much as I should have when I first started blogging. Now that I’m in it more, I can’t believe I ever thought I would have the support I needed to keep writing my blog or even find anyone who would want to read it, without being part of the blogging community! (I had to learn the hard way that people just don’t “discover” your blog, haha)

I’ve compiled a list of little ways to support your fellow bloggers. Yes, these are small ideas, but even the tiniest little thing can mean so much to a blogger. A shoutout, a tag on Twitter, or even a simple comment on your blog can help promote it, let more people see it and get more views, but most importantly, be the biggest sign of encouragement to keep doing what you love (which is blogging. We’re all on the same page, right?)

So to the whole blogging community who have opened their arms to me, thank you for being so supportive, sweet, and encouraging. No matter the niche, I’ve found all of the bloggers I’ve met to be the nicest and sweetest people ever. I just wish we didn’t live all around the world and could meet up and just say hello and just have a compliment battle about our blogs. This post is for you, fellow bloggers!
  • Retweet your fellow blogger’s blog posts- it’s such a little thing, but it helps other people who may not see your blog take notice of it. It’s also a little stamp of approval too. A kind of “I wouldn’t retweet this if I personally didn’t like it or wasn’t interested in it” thing.
  • Engage with your fellow bloggers- you never know what conversations or even friendships you might strike up with just a comment on someone’s blog or tweet!
  • Find and enjoy your blogging niche community. And if you don’t have a niche (like me), enjoy the WHOLE blogging community and discover LOTS of new blogs and bloggers!
  • Follow Fridays! If you don’t know what Follow Fridays are, it’s where you tag bloggers you love and think other people should discover and follow on Twitter, using the hashtag #FF or #followfriday. I don’t do this as often as I should, but it’s really such an honor to have someone tag you! Plus, it’s another great way to gain more followers and discover new bloggers and their blogs!
  • Follow blogging retweet accounts and engage in Comment/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Bloglovin’/Wordpress/Pinterest etc. follow threads on Twitter. Numbers aren’t everything but they can really help a blogger succeed. If you want more followers on your blog or on your social media accounts, blogging retweet follow threads or other blogger’s similar Twitter threads are the way to do it.
  • Buy and support bloggers’ products and promote them on social media and your blog. Lots of bloggers are artists, writers, and more and sell their wares online. If you love an item of theirs, promote it and tag them so others can discover their blog/store/products!
  • Join a bloggers collab Pinterest board. This can be a great one to promote your blog and help promote others’ blogs as well. And it’s a fun way to engage with other bloggers about similar shared interests and blogs too!
  • Pin your fellow bloggers blogs on Pinterest- more exposure for your fellow blogger! Plus, now you’ll have their blog pinned on one of your Pinterest board so you’ll always have it (I hate it when I lose a good blog post I just read!)
  • Comment on people’s blogs! So simple and obvious, but it means so much, honestly. Actually read the blog post and give your opinion, thoughts, and feedback. And don’t just do it for the comment back (come on, people) but because you liked the post or it genuinely interested you or taught you something.
  • Be positive and encouraging! Blogging is a great hobby (and for some lucky people, a career. I’m super jelly), but it takes effort and sometimes you get burnout or start to doubt yourself. Sometimes the only people who understand this are other bloggers, so be there for each other when they’re struggling, offer ideas, and motivate them. And if they are feeling great about their blogging and content, congratulate them and encourage them to keep on doing an amazing job! It’s all part of being in the community. You support each other through the good AND the bad.
Don’t worry if you don’t or can’t do all of these. I try to do as much as I can, but you can’t comment on all the blogs! Just do what you can, and support your lovely fellow bloggers. You know they’d do the same for you!

Fellow bloggers, what are some ways you support your fellow bloggers? I know my list is missing a lot, but these are the ones I thought of. I’d love to know the ones that you use! Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,

How Much Should I Share About My Mental Health On My Blog?

Photo by Creative Christians on Unsplash
I always wonder what I should be sharing online. Do I need to share my whole life, like some people do? Or do I remain a tad vague, only giving out a few things, peppered here or there, giving me an air of mystery? (Am I an international spy who poses as someone trying to make it as a blogger? Kind of a lame cover, but you’ll never know, not even if you read my blog and try to uncover all the clues I may or may not have been sprinkling throughout it all these years…) 
I admire the people who can open up and talk about their lives without shame. And not only that, but make great blog posts about it. Turn their experiences or mistakes into a lesson that helps us all, in relatable and entertaining ways. But the ones I truly, truly admire, are the ones who can do that with their mental health experiences. To turn something that may have been been very traumatic, troubling, and horrible into something that others can relate to, identify with, learn from, and educate others. I think that is so commendable and incredibly valuable to everyone in the mental health community. But...

In Carrie Bradshaw voice while typing on her laptop and gazing out the window: That makes me wonder: as much as I want to be a mental health advocate, how much of my mental health experience should I share online?

I love reading other people’s mental health blogs. The fact that they can be so open about their issues is inspiring and admirable, and something I want to do. Eventually. Maybe. Because I’m not sure if I’m there yet. Or if I ever will be.

You might have noticed that I’ve shared a few of my experience on my blog here. That I have OCD, depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and oh, the list goes on and on! (Or seems to anyway) I’ve also shared my experiences with going to numerous mental health professionals over the years, EMDR therapy, a letter to my younger self about having mental health, and so on (click here to find all these posts on my mental health tag!). But I’ve been holding back. There are some things that are easy to talk about with mental health, and other things… not so much.

So where do I go from here? Do I open up like the brave mental health advocate bloggers I read or do I keep tiptoeing around the big issues and write about what I find easy(ish) to talk about?

I think the answer can be both. I think there are some things that I may never want to talk about on my blog. Some things may be just too painful to recount or even admit. But there are of course some things I want to share and hopefully will be willing to share one day. I’ve mentioned having OCD and panic disorder, but I haven’t really talked about my years long battle with emetophobia (aka the fear of vomiting). Nor have I talked about my short stint with agoraphobia (now THAT was fun. I’m kidding. It was awful. Duh). But I want to. I really do.

And maybe I can some day. But I might have to work up to it first. Slowly, but I think I can get there. And I have to think that being a mental health advocate isn’t just about sharing the nitty gritty of their experiences with mental health. It’s about opening up the conversation, breaking down that taboo, and reminding people that it’s way more common than we think. And we should be TALKING about it, not keeping it all inside like I’ve been doing my entire life.

So, in my own, vague way, I hope that my stories that I share are helping and opening up that communication with others, and that in the future, I can be even more open and therefore help more people who may be struggling with the very same things I too once struggled with.

But not so open that you immediately think upon reading my blog, “GIRL, shut it down, Emily! Shut down this Pandora’s box of crazy!” Because no one really wants to go THAT deep into someone’s brain, right?? Especially my brain. No one wants to Inception this large clump of gray matter, trust me.

I think a combination of where I am now with blogging about my mental health and being more open about it (but not being completely open, because honestly, there are just some things I probably will never share with anyone except for a close friend, family member, or a mental health professional) and meeting between the two will be a perfect mix of things I can share and hopefully inspire others with similar mental health issues to speak up and talk about their issues.

Let’s just hope I can get the courage to get there soon! But for now, I’ll share with you what I can and maybe, just maybe, they might help someone. 💜

*But please note, just because I may be sharing certain things about my own mental health issues, doesn’t mean you have to. Sharing your own mental health experiences is up to you. If you want to open up, great. If not, that’s entirely your decision. Some people are happier not talking about it and only sharing it with certain, select people. Either of these choices are perfectly normal and okay. You do what’s comfortable and healthy for you!

For people who talk or blog about mental health issues, how honest and open are you with your experiences? Do you share everything, or only select things? Or do you keep it all to yourself? (You have that right! It’s not anyone’s business unless you want it to be!) Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,