New Year, Better Me

My Journey



“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —George Eliot

Well, it’s the new year, so I’m sure your social media feeds are full of everyone talking about their resolutions and “new year, new me,” and all that other mumbo jumbo. Well, I’m here to kind of do the same thing. This year I’m going to really start working on making my dreams a reality. So, with that being said, here is what you can expect to see from me in 2019:

Books:

One of my goals this year is to read at least 52 books, so that means I should hopefully read a book a week. Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies, and during 2018 it served as a way for me to relax and escape from the everyday stressors of life. I am always looking for book suggestions and would love for you all to send me suggestions!

At the end of every month, I will post a summary of the books I’ve read along with my personal review of the book and any other fun information I learned from the books over the month.

Health/Fitness:

Another goal of mine is to increase my physical health, I plan to do this by working out at least four days a week. I currently work out at the most amazing studio, with the most badass trainer, Debbie Olivas. Through the course of the year, I will share any and all milestones I reach along with different tips and tricks.

I am also making a commitment to live a nondairy lifestyle due to my “lactose intolerance” and “possible dairy allergy” uggghh. So again, if you have any recommendations on snacks, brands, recipes, etc, please send them my way! I have been a lover of all things cheese and ice cream so you can imagine the struggle it’s been to give up that part of my life.

Mental Health:

In 2018 I dedicated a lot of my time and energy into bettering my mental health and learning how to love myself, so I am going to continue this journey in 2019 because it is a never-ending journey, and there is still so much left for me to work on. If you’ve been following along with my journey, you know that I have been very transparent in the journey to understand my anxiety and perfection disorder, and I want to continue that level of transparency in 2019.

My Brand:

Finally, my biggest goal this year is to start my company, Conley Communications. My vision is for Conley Communications to be a place where people can come and receive marketing, PR, and graphic design services. So, if you are in the need of any of those, please don’t hesitate to reach out and learn more about all that I offer!

The Awkward Life of Jasmine (As Told by Me…Jasmine)

My Journey

If you know me personally, you are very much aware of the goofy/clumsy/awkward moments that make up my life. I can’t help it (trust me I’ve tried) it’s just who I am and I’ve learned to own it like a boss.

My clumsy moments include simple things like tripping over air, running into doors/walls, to more complex matters like accidentally burning myself with a lighter (multiple times on different occasions,) or catching a blender on fire…yes I caught a blender on fire. We won’t dwell too long on all the clumsy moments I have encountered in my life because there are far too many to recount, but I know that I would not be the awesome person I am today without them.

Now my awkwardness, on the other hand, is semi situational and can occasionally be masked by me acting goofy, but just know that 95% of my life is spent feeling very awkward in a lot of situations. Thankfully I don’t let my awkwardness compromise my confidence….most of the time. While in professional settings I can push my awkwardness aside and kill an interview or presentation, when it comes time for me to talk to someone new, particularly a cute boy, I become a blob of awkward energy.

My awkwardness is paired perfectly with my goofy personality. Now not everyone gets to experience me in my truest form because I’m shy and it can take me awhile to warm up and feel comfortable around people, but the ones that do, boy I bet they wish I’d go back to being shy sometimes. Most of the time I don’t even mean to make my friends laugh, it just happens. I’m not sure if it’s the mix of my sarcasm and uncoordinated movements, or what but people always tell me I’m goofy, and I own it.

The combination of awkward, goofy and clumsy tendencies that live inside of me can be remarkable at times. I’ve learned to laugh through the moments and to not take myself so seriously because I mean we’re all human and anyone who acts like they haven’t passed gas and blamed it on someone else (usually a small child) to save themselves from embarrassment is lying. Needless to say, I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, so why act like we never have moments of embarrassment.

I know I can’t be the only person who lives most of their life being clumsy, goofy, and/or awkward, so if you’re like me and your life seems like a series of unfortunate (yet funny) events please share some of your best moments in the comment section! I’d love to hear from you all.

Alive and Well

My Journey

Well, I’ve made it a week without social media, and guess what, I’m still alive. I haven’t broken out in hives or had thousands of mental breakdowns, my life hasn’t blown up in a ball of fiery failure and destruction. That may seem drastic, but let’s be real… we all think that’s what will happen if we totally disconnect from social media.

In fact, my life has improved. I don’t feel this constant pressure to post something perfect that captures only a small percentage of my actual life. I am not bogged down with the feeling of my life not being adequate. I feel liberated in some ways because for the first time since I joined the social media world, I am living my life for me and not for the likes, retweets, or comments from people I hardly know.

Don’t get me wrong, I do miss social media, I miss being connected in the talk around campus, I miss getting updates on current events (both political and pop culture.) But other than that, I don’t miss it that much. I think we (millennials) can get so caught up in feeling like our lives will end the moment we get off social media, but the reality is, our lives don’t begin until we do.

We are at such a formative point in our lives, we are shaping our futures, and creating our lifestyles. We deal with enough pressure from trying to get through college with the least amount of debt as possible and searching for the perfect job that will help us pay off that debt while not making us miserable.  The last thing we need to be stressed about is how our social media lives compared to those of our followers and “friends.”

We are in our twenties, we don’t have a lot going for us, we are all confused and lost, and just trying to figure out how to fully live on our own. And I don’t care how pretty your Instagram feed looks, at the end of the day, we are all riding the same struggle bus, so let’s get off the high horse and accept that it’s ok for our lives to be a mess.

I’m preaching to myself just as much as I’m preaching to whoever decided to read this post. I was trapped in the same endless cycle of refreshing newsfeeds and opening and closing different social media apps, feeling like my life wasn’t fabulous enough or that I was a failure for not having my shit together. But I decided to cut myself from the cycle, I’ve taken a step back, I’m focusing on learning about myself and what I want to accomplish in my life. I’m reconnecting with my true self, and I encourage everyone reading this to do the same.

This break from social media is amazing, I have so much more time to dedicate myself to my school work and other hobbies that I usually ignore. So I still have a few more weeks of this break from the social world, but as of now, I’m not dying, my vitals are fine, and I feel a lot freer.

Turning Over a New Leaf

My Journey

As I look back over the past year of my life I have grown tremendously. I have accomplished things I never thought possible, I have overcome various obstacles and hardships. I have made friends and lost friends, I have laughed and cried. Through all of this though, I have found that I haven’t fully been living for me.

Yeah all of my accomplishments have been about something I wanted and something I went after to achieve, but I haven’t been living in the moment. I’ve been chasing after some far fetched perfect reality, and have been caught up in living in a daydream land about various hypothetical situations that I lost a sense of what my true reality is.

I’m a naturally stubborn person, and sometimes I ignore what people tell me because it doesn’t fit into the reality I can have in my head. I am very much aware that this is a dangerous place to be, and because of it I have caused myself pain and heartache that could’ve been avoided, but alas it wasn’t. Even through the pain, I have learned a lot about myself, and I’m amazed each day at how strong and resilient I am.

So right now, on this day I have taken a pledge, I am going to turn over a new leaf. I am going to practice living in the now and work on not taking myself as serious. I am going to continue to dream, but I am also going to accept the reality in front of me. I am going to look for happiness within myself before I look to others to make me happy.

I am going to practice going with the flow and let go of the need to plan out and control every aspect of my life. I am going to work on not shutting down and feeling rejected when plans change.

But for right now, I’m taking a break from the outside world. I’m disconnecting myself from all social media. I am going to take time out of each day to meditate and reflect on myself. The people I communicate with during this time are the ones who are close enough to me to have my phone number. I am going to focus on cultivating relationships with the people who genuinely care about me.

During this time I am going to take chances and try and break out of my comfort zone. I’m going to face my fears (except mascots, mascots will always be scary) and do things I wouldn’t normally do. I’m going to do these things for myself too, I’m not going to try and find an “insta-worthy” moment that would generate hundreds of likes. I’m going to explore and experience the world around me and look at the unfiltered, not cropped beauty of the world.

So, as always, even though I am not on social media right now, you can follow me on my journey through this crazy thing we call life.

 

El Fin *deep sigh*

My Journey

Guys. I did it. I survived my third year in college. There were times where it seemed like I wasn’t going to make it to this point. This has by far been my most challenging semester, but knowing that I only have one year left is such a satisfying feeling.

So much has happened in such a short time and I honestly feel like I have grown so much. Over the course of this school year, I battled with getting over my first heartbreak, seeking help for my anxiety, gaining and losing friends, balancing a full class load and working all week. Needless to say, I’ve been pretty busy, but I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for all the money in the world. I can tell that I have honestly gotten closer with myself and have learned that it’s ok and really important to create alone time.

I wouldn’t have made it to the end if it wasn’t for my wonderful roommate Skylar. We have had so many crazy adventures this year; from random late night talks to comforting each other when boys do stupid things, to late night food runs, to playing rock, paper, scissors over who went to talk to the RA, she’s been there for it all. She’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly (seriously she has some good blackmail on me lol.) We pushed each other to finish strong, and here we are. We survived.

If there is one thing I have learned this year, it’s that I am 100000% in the right major. I have been working as an afternoon teacher at a daycare this year and man oh man, those kids are crazy. I have a whole new level of respect for teachers everywhere. It truly takes a special person to work in education, no matter the age.

But I love my job, I work with the best group of people and even though there are days when my kids make me want to pull my hair out, I have grown to love them all so much. If anything, they’ve taught me the true meaning of patience. My class ranges in age from 18 months to 2 years and most of my day is spent saying “get off the shelf” “We don’t sit on our friend’s head” “no don’t eat that!”

Ahhh my internship this summer is going to be such a refreshing break, but I know I’m going to miss those crazy kids. I could go on and on about stories from the daycare, but I’ll save those for another day.

As I look back on this year it all seems like such a blur, it seems like life keeps moving faster and faster and I’m just trying to slow it down before the real adulting begins.

Never Question God’s Timing

My Journey

I’m sure we have all heard the saying “God works in mysterious ways,” and this post is about to tell you how God has been working in my life over the past year, but more specifically these past few months.

Last summer I applied for an internship at a company called Stone Ward, they are a PR and marketing firm located in the Rivermarket of downtown Little Rock. I had applied for the internship because  I had heard good things about the program, and I was looking for any opportunity to stay near my now ex-boyfriend.

I was not offered the internship sadly, but I truly think that was all apart of God’s plan. I moved back home for the summer and interned with a close family friend, Allyson Twiggs. She has her own company, the Twiggs Group, and became my mentor for the summer. I couldn’t have asked for a better first internship. Allyson was, and still is a wonderful mentor, and I was able to learn so much during my summer with her.

Fast forward to this semester

 As you all may remember my boyfriend broke up with me at the beginning of the school year and part of that had to deal with the fact that we were not together for the summer. I am thankful for the time we had, but since then doors have opened up in my life that I don’t think would have been possible had I held on to that past relationship.

I applied for the Stone Ward internship again, this semester, I felt it was a long shot, and planned to apply to a few other internships around Arkansas as well just in case I didn’t land this one again. After waiting a few days after the deadline, I started getting nervous and began thinking I wasn’t going to get called in for an interview. As soon as I was about to give up hope, I received an email from someone who worked at Stone Ward, he wanted to set up a phone interview with me!

After the phone call, I remember thinking “did he really just say he was going to recommend me for hire?” Sure enough, a few days later I received a call from Stone Ward asking if I would be interested in taking a position in their Camp Reality summer internship program. I was stunned, how did I go from not even getting a phone call last summer, to getting hired without a formal interview this summer… timing, all of this was a part of God’s timing.

I’m saying all of this to reiterate a long time saying, never question God’s timing. I could’ve easily taken the situation I was handed last summer and complained and sat around in my room the whole summer. But instead, I took the bull by the horns and found the best first internship ever. Not only did I learn a ton, but I gained a great mentor in the process. I wouldn’t have been able to get that experience had I stayed in Little Rock to be with my (ex)boyfriend.

I am so thankful for this opportunity to intern at Stone Ward this summer. I can’t wait to see where this new journey takes me, and I promise I will take you all along for the ride too. Until next time my friends ❤

For the Love of the Game

My Journey

My childhood was largely centered around basketball. From 2nd grade, all the way up to my senior year of high school most of my weekends were spent inside of a gym, either working out or playing in a tournament. *Disclaimer* I did also participate in normal childhood activities, but there’s no denying basketball was a large part of my life.

OG Camp Unity

The OG Camp Unity

Throughout my “career” I really only had four coaches, not including my dad. For this particular post, I would like to highlight the coach that introduced me to the game. The coach that made me fall in love with the game. His name is Shannon Lang.

I met Shannon when I was 8 or 9 and played with him until the summer before my senior year. Our team name was Camp Unity. I was on the first team Camp Unity had, it has since grown tremendously and that is only a representation of the type of coach Coach Shannon is.

When I think about my time playing basketball, I am flooded with memories of long practices, weekend tournaments, line drills, push ups, workouts, and family. Camp Unity was my family. Especially when we first started. We were young, we had no idea what we were doing, but Coach Shannon was there to guide us.

Camp Unity 2Coach Shannon made practice fun. I will never forget the first time he told us all to grab a ball and get ready to practice dribbling. I was a post and hated when we did dribbling drills. But then all of a sudden Kirk Franklin started blasting through the speakers and Shannon was up front swaying from side to side with the beat. He looked at us and told us to follow what he did. By the end of the drill, Shannon had taught us an entire “dribble dance” to a Kirk Franklin song. It was the best.

Now I don’t think I ever had a coach that got as fired up during games as Shannon did. I remember numerous occasions where he would get benched for getting so fired up at a ref. He also got really fired up at us too. But he wasn’t the type of coach that only yelled at you when you messed up.He was by far the best cheerleader on the sideline during games too.

When we were younger, and awful at free throws, to motivate us Shannon said that for every free throw we made, he would do a backflip. Sure enough, when we made a free throw, all you had to do was look at the sideline and there was Coach Shannon, doing a backflip in the middle of a game. It was awesome.

Ramay:Woodland CUCoach Shannon is one of the main reasons I stuck with basketball for as long as I did. When I entered high school, my confidence in my talent dropped a lot. I had a hard time connecting with the coach and it was just tough. I started to lose the love I had for the game. But even when I wanted to throw the towel in and hang up my jersey for good, Shannon was right there to tell me that he believed in me and that I could achieve anything I put my mind to.

Can’t was not allowed to be in our vocabulary. Anytime we were caught saying can’t during practice, we would have to either run or do pushups or something awful like that. As we would be doing our punishment, Shannon would blow his whistle and at the sound of the beep, we all chanted “I can. I will. I am.” That was our motto. That is what helped push me to finish high school ball.

To Coach Shannon, if you happen to read this, thank you for everything. As hard as it was for me toward the end, I looked forward to practices with you. I miss the late summer nights spent in hot gyms practicing for weekend tournaments. I miss the conditioning you would put us through. Thank you for always believing in me, even during those times I didn’t believe in myself.

 

Livin the Life of a Lefty

My Journey

So, after living 20 years on this earth, I feel like it is very important that I address this always present issue in my life. Being left-handed.

Yes, I am a part of the 10% of Americans who are left-handed and let me tell you, it is not as easy as some would think. I have been forced to train myself to do literally everything backward.

Opening a can? Yea that’s hard. Tieing shoes? Yep, I do it backward. Shaking hands? Always an awkward few seconds. Sitting at a table? Yep, that’s me elbowing you.

Being left-handed is great because I can do some things that most people can’t, but it is also so challenging.

Let’s take sitting at a round dinner table for example. While most people generally reach for their drink with their right hand, I naturally reach with my left. Talk about awkward.

There is also this problem with eating in general. Unless I am sitting at the left corner end of a table, I will constantly bump elbows with my neighbor, which makes for another awkward, and sometimes uncomfortable situation.

Another common problem lefties face, that the privileged right-handers don’t have to deal with is writing. Yes, you read that correctly, writing.

It has taken me 20 years to find the perfect pen/paper combo that doesn’t smudge and smear all over the paper as I write. I am still left with lovely black marks on my hand after an intense session of essay writing, but hey at least my paper is somewhat smudged free. And please, don’t get me started on 3-ring binders.

While we are on the subject of writing, I would just like to say whoever invented the connected desk contraption that is in almost every college class, did not think of the left-handers in the world. Most of my college career has been a struggle because I’m forced to sit in a seat that is not made for the way I write.

Being left-handed is great. It’s a fun trait that makes me who I am, there are not many other people who are left-handed. Whenever I meet a fellow lefty, though, it feels amazing. It’s great talking with them and comparing our struggles.

For all you other lefties out there in the world, just know that you are not alone. I am here and struggling with you.

21 Lessons Learned

My Journey

My 21st birthday is finally here! This Saturday, Feb 4, I will officially be able to drink…legally. So I thought a great way to celebrate my day of birth with you all would be to share 21 lessons I have learned so far.

  1. Nothing in life comes easy
  2. Friends come and go, and that’s ok
  3. High school was nothing like High School Musical
  4. College is much harder than they make it seem on TV, but it is still loads of fun
  5. Classic Disney songs never get old
  6. Don’t stress the small stuff
  7. If you want to try something new, do it, YOLO
  8. Just keep swimming
  9. Hakuna Matata
  10. Do what makes you happy
  11. Mac and cheese is always the answer
  12. Don’t put goldfish in warm water… They’ll die
  13. It’s better to go with your gut… it’s usually always right
  14. Workout because you want to, not because society tells you to
  15. Your vibe attracts your tribe
  16. This world was made for right-handed people
  17. Don’t go chasing waterfalls
  18. 90’s music is truly the best
  19. Books are the best way to escape reality
  20. Sometimes life hands you major Ls and you have to deal with that
  21. There is no such thing as “too many shoes”

So that’s my list, some of them are funny, some of them are serious, but they have all helped me get to where I am today.

Who am I?

My Journey

Hey there,

You might be wondering what made me want to join the crazy world of blogging, and maybe even why I decided to call it “Jasmine’s Journey.” Well, I’m here to answer all of those questions and share a little more about who I am.

IMG_2009Well, let’s start with the most interesting tidbit of my life (in my opinion of course). I have six younger brothers, and I am the oldest and the ONLY girl. They range in age from 18-1 (yes I know it sounds made up, but trust me…it’s not).

These are all of my brothers and myself (minus Steven, he wasn’t born yet). Since they are such a large part of my life, I feel like I should introduce them as well. I’ll start on the left; first, there’s Alex, then Marcus in my lap, Jeremiah, Noah, and then Coleman in the bottom right.

This picture was taken when I moved into my dorm freshman year, I am now a junior, and since then three of my brother’s have shot past me in height and Steven was born!

As I mentioned earlier, I am currently a junior at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR and I’m majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. I did not know that was going to be my major at first, but now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Conway is much different than Fayetteville, AR (where I was born and raised) but I am learning to love it as my second home.

Another fun little fact about me is that I am biracial, and I come from a very blended family. Being biracial has become a large part of my identity in just the past year or so, but it is who I am and I’ve been blessed with the great opportunity to experience two sides of life (basically I’m Hannah Montana).

Jasmine’s Journey is going to be about exactly what it says, my journey. Through this, I hope to show you life through my eyes. I plan to blog about a wide range of topics ranging from what’s on my mind, to current events, to the many interesting things I continue to learn daily about my profession.

Buckle in and enjoy the ride!