Deactivate?

My instagram and twitter accounts are no more. I took them down just over a month ago as an experiment in disconnecting from the world in order to find contentment- then never bothered to reactivate them.

I noticed something about myself in early May – the sheer volume of people living “better” or “more adventurous” lifestyles on their social media was overwhelming me. I was getting down on myself: my appearance, my early bed time, my drab food.

I was discontent.

So I decided to stop being so connected all the time.

First, I deleted the apps on my phone. It really curbed that early-morning check in to see how wonderful everyone else was and coincidental complete ripping of my self-esteem to shreds before even getting out of bed.

I’d still check in throughout the day, but then I noticed it was effecting me almost the same as before that first step. While I was working away the hours behind a desk without even a window view, others were road tripping, sipping lattes and meeting childhood heroes at Disney World. It left me feeling bored, restless, over it (which, as you know, is really bad for a personality like mine).

So I decided it was time to just get rid of the temptation to covet others’ lives and deactivated Twitter and Instagram. If only for a couple of weeks, I was determined to stop focusing so much on the lives of my acquaintances and strangers I somehow found myself following.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Losing my ability to lust after my friends’ adventures and creep on on-again-off-again was amazing. After the several weeks of check-for-notifications withdrawal, I stopped thinking about Twitter and Instagram altogether.

I still have Facebook as I need it for Undignified Event promotions and to stay in touch with subscribers/friends I can’t otherwise connect with due to long distance. I still like to toss opinions out and share funny videos. I still love to post a good day-changing, life-changing quote.

But I’m not bombarded with such obsessively jealous, covetous, envious thoughts anymore.

I’ve realized over the years that Facebook tends to be more real than Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is where people go to be mental (rants, raves, emo-tweets, etc.). Instagram is where people go to brag (selfies, photo shop, singing videos, etc.). Facebook is where people go to connect, to share, to converse. It’s not perfect- there is still a ton of frustration on there (stupid distant-relative political rants). BUT. There’s less of it.

Now, I’ll be straight with you. I purged Facebook HARD. If someone’s life looked better than mine or statuses provoked negative feelings, I unfollowed their account. This may seem overboard, but I needed to fix this feeling of discontent and seeing their posts was not helping.

As of today, my feed is primarily made up of friends and family, whose adventures I admire and wish them well on. The negativity slowly shrinks, replaced by contentment with my own life.

Yes, I work most of the hours of my day- but I get to have my own place, I recently purchased a new car, and I get to save for adventures.

Sure, it sometimes takes me longer to get to the adventures than I’d like, but each day I get to hang out with hilarious coworkers by the coffee maker. I get to go home at the end of a long day and sip coffee while reading a book or watching Netflix. I get to go to my mom’s and chat about life over a mug of coffee. I get to meet friends for coffee dates, and grab Starbucks when I’m just out running errands.

Okay. How am I not dead yet? I think I’m having a revelation about my coffee addiction. I should consider disconnecting from that, too.

Nah. That’s seems a little extreme.

Anyway.

The point is, if you’re feeling that same overwhelmed and discontent frustration I have been battling, why not check out for a while? You’re allowed. You’re allowed to want peace in your life and cut out the things that are taking that away. Do something bold, like deactivating Twitter. If that’s too much, mute the people who are causing a white noise that drowns out the love you have for yourself.

You’re allowed. You’re allowed. You’re allowed.

There’s no rule book saying we all have to be in constant contact with each other. So take a break, unplug. Let me know how it goes.

 

 

The Liebster Blogger Award!

You guys, you guys, you guys! I’ve been nominated by Leah Grace from Graceful Soul, Grateful Heart and Ally from Teaspoon of Sprinkles for the Liebster Blogger Award! I’ve seen this award go around for years, but never expected it to make its way here to Rachel’s Rambles. There is a huge internet world out there and this award helps it get discovered. This award also honors and celebrates the diversity of blog genres and topics- it’s so cool to see the sheer volume of people out there sharing their stories!

Just call me honored beyond belief to be a part of this! ❤

The rules of the Liebster Blogger Award are as follows:

  1. Accept/decline the nomination: nomination doesn’t mean you have to create your own post, but accepting keeps the award spreading!
  2. Write 11 facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions at the end of your nominator’s post
  4. Leave 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award!

With two sets of nominations, both of which I happily accept, I’ve got a lot of questions to get to. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

11 Facts about Me

  1. I hate purple, so the irony is not lost on me that purple is the awareness color for FMS. Heh
  2. I am fascinated by mukbang (eating show) videos on YouTube. I’ve always had a strange curiosity with the way different people eat their food.
  3. Documentaries, inspired-by-real-events movies, biographies, and memoirs are my bread and butter. I love to learn about people and events.
  4. Because of the above, I’m also obsessed with museums. Like. Obsessed.
  5. Also because of the above, I’ve been sitting at the adult table for as long as I can remember. While other kids were playing, I was sitting still and listening hard so as not to miss a single aspect of a person’s story.
  6. I only have two articles of clothing in my wardrobe that are not black, white, gray or tan. They are a black and red dress (that I rarely wear because I gained too much weight…), and a green dress (a new buy for weddings/events where black isn’t exactly appropriate). I just love black. I feel comfy and me in it.
  7. I am an ENFP – which is pretty cool, in my book. But because of my “all over the place” personality, I’ve hurt some people and been inconsistent with most. I honestly have no idea how to control it, though I do try.
  8. I recently found out through an ancestry DNA test that my ancestors were vikings. I have Scandinavia flowing through my veins. This was an awesome surprise for my brother and me, who are obsessed, as it just so happens, with vikings.
  9. I am 22 years old and have had two boyfriends, for a total of less than two months in an actual relationship. I’m either extremely hard to please or just.. yeah, nope, too hard to please. *shrug*
  10. I sometimes think I missed my life calling by not becoming a life coach. I know a lot of people laugh at that career choice, but I personally feel there is no shame in needing encouragement and accountability from a professional source- ESPECIALLY when you’re stepping into new territory that has you terrified.
  11. I write blog posts out of order- here a sentence, there a sentence, then I string them together in some kind of (hopefully) cohesive way! That’s why I often miss things… like adding #11 to my list of things about me (thanks for pointing that out, Bobbie!! I appreciate it!!) Oops!

11 Questions from Leah Grace

#1- When/Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in November of 2014. Those posts are long gone now (thank God) because they were pretty stupid. I honestly started with the intent to become self-employed through my blog, and while I still hope that one day becomes a reality, I now write to encourage (hopefully) and inspire. Oh, and to record my adventures.

#2- What is your favorite bible verse/inspirational quote? Why?

This is an easy one! My favorite verse is Jeremiah 1:7-8 which says:

Then the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you. This is the Lord’s declaration.

This passage is what got me through so much criticism and “you’re flat crazy” talk when I started working on The Undignified Event. Without this passage to inspire me and keep me fighting for God’s dream, I would have given up.

#3- If you could go to see anyone in concert (dead or alive), who would it be? Why them?

I’d have to say Johnny Cash purely because I looooooooove his voice and his wardrobe. I’m shallow like that.

#4-How do you feel about tattoos? Do you have any? What’s the story behind them?

I don’t believe that tattoos add or take away from your God-given value. I have personally chosen not to get one because I don’t feel it is God’s will for my life (I don’t judge those who do get them).

#5- It’s midnight, your fridge is stocked with your favorites, what is the snack that you grab to munch on?

Is it lame to say that I don’t really have a favorite snack? I’m really not a snacker- at least at night.

#6- Favorite Drink (Coffee, Tea, Soda, Infused Water, Anything)?

Coffee. Duh. 🙂

#7- Who was the first person you told about your blog? Describe how that conversation went.

I don’t actually remember the answer to this.. I’ve never been a really private person, so I probably told a huge group of people at once. *shrug* If I tell new people now, they generally just smile and say, “That’s cool!”

#8- What is your advice to future bloggers who are on the fence about starting?

Just take that leap and start. Don’t write for someone else or as someone else, write for yourself first. You’ll find your voice and without even realizing it, begin inspiring others.

#9- Best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?

When I worked at the library, an older gentleman shared some of his life story with me. He finished it all up by advising something along the lines of: “Don’t stay in one place more than 5 years. There’s too much world out there to stay for longer than that! And don’t hold onto things, hold onto people and memories. Things won’t be around forever.”

#10- If you could be ANY Disney character? Who would you be and Why?

Pocahontas- the girl was my childhood HERO. She stood for strength and courage to fight for what is right, no matter what.

#11- Someone blesses you with a million dollars. How do you spend it?

I would tithe 10% to my church, give Tupelo Children’s Mansion (a home for kids who need a safe place to stay – this mission work is near and dear to my heart) with $300,000, give my mom and dad each $100,000 to thank them for the incredible parenting job they did, and use the remaining $400,000 to host Undignified Events all over the world. 🙂

11 Questions from Ally

#1- What is your go-to order at a coffee shop?

Soy caramel latte. YUM.

#2- What city holds a special place in your heart, and why?

The Historic District of Philadelphia, PA is my favorite city. To be surrounded by such rich American history is the DREAM. I nerd out to extreme levels when I’m there. ❤

#3- What is one word that you’d like to engrave on the heart of your younger self?

“And.” It’s so simple, but signifies to much. There is always an “and” in life, there is always another page to turn.

#4- What was the last brave thing you did?

I lead worship at an outdoor Memorial Day concert for a church in my local city. It was a lot of fun- but every time I do something on a platform/stage, I have to really stir up my courage.

#5- Do you prefer indoors or outdoors? Why?

I prefer to be outdoors, but am almost always indoors. I love nature and hiking and camping and horse back riding and going for walks, but FMS really limits my ability and desire to partake in those things. Heat is really hard on me, so if it’s even a little warm outside, I’m pretty miserable.

#6- If you had $500 and only one day to spend it, what would you buy?

I would buy tickets to something fun for my family or a round trip plane ticket to a place I’ve never been.

#7- What is your favorite thing to cook? Share the recipe, please!!

Sweet potato fries! Can you say YUMMMM? Just peel and chop 2-3 sweet potatoes into skinny fries, then coat in two tablespoons olive oil, a couple tablespoons of paprika, garlic powder and onion powder, and a teaspoon or two of salt and pepper.

These are especially tasty dipped in Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Spicy Barbecue sauce. MMMMMMM!

#8- If you could change your birth date, would you? What date would you pick?

No way. I love my September 15th birthday. 🙂

#9- Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid?

I had imaginary villages, mate. I was outside all the time, pretending to be indians and cowboys with my sister. My imagination is pretty vivid, so our fake pals became pretty real to me.

#10- How do you feel about spiders?

They don’t freak me out or anything, but I can’t stand the crunchy squish sound they make when you kill them. It makes me want to hurl. This is not an exaggeration.

#11- What is your #1 book recommendation?

Not fair. This is an impossible question!!! I refuse to answer!!! 😉

11 Questions for the Bloggers I Nominate

  1. Do you believe in love at first site?
  2. What is your biggest blogger pet peeve?
  3. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
  4. What is the furthest place away that you’ve traveled to? How many miles from home were you?
  5. What is your mantra?
  6. Who inspires you?
  7. What is the best God moment you’ve had thus far?
  8. What are your thoughts on the “talking” stage of a “relationship?”
  9. Are there any foods/combinations that literally make you gag?
  10. Who was the last person you said “I love you” to and why do you love them?
  11. If you could go back in time to, well, any time, to when would you go and why?

11 Bloggers I Happily Nominate

  1. Brittany from BlissfulBritt
  2. Jamie from JamieDDaily
  3. The Nameless One (LOL 😉 ) from The CFO Mom
  4. Marguerite from Waste Not Want Not
  5. The Other Nameless Ones from Eat Pray Budget
  6. Aaaaand another Nameless One from Saving Without Scrimping
  7. Imii Mace from Nettle&Blackberry
  8. Cait Flanders from, well, Cait Flanders
  9. Rebecca from WhyMermaids
  10. Dianne from Dianne Blogs
  11. Talia from 52 Miles per Month

If you find yourself with some spare time, why not stop by their blogs and leave some love? ❤

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4 Adultier Things I’ve Tried Since Moving Out

There is a lot of freedom that comes with living on your own– and with it, a lot of responsibility. I’ve found that both have made me feel eager to try new things and learn how to be an adultier adult. The results had.. well.. varying degrees of success…

Mainly failure.

In any case, please enjoy this list of 4 intended-to-be-adultier things I’ve tried since moving out!

#1 – Dishwasher Mayday Turned Mopping Extraordinaire

The day before I moved into my apartment, I spent a good chunk of time cleaning it up. The hardwood floors were covered in dirt and needed a good mop, the windows were nasty and the stove/fridge/dishwasher needed a good wash,too.

It was because of this that I found myself ankle-deep in suds on that fateful Friday evening.

Here’s what I learned:

  • You cannot, in fact, use regular dish soap in a dishwasher, even if it is much more cost-effective.
  • Er, unless you are trying to coat your floor in suds.
  • In which case, you should because it makes mopping a lot easier.
  • As it should since your floor will be covered in suds.
  • You could even tie towels around your shoes and slide about for an extra pizzazz-y polished look.
  • #LifeHACKed
  • Please do not blame me if you ruin your apartment floors by trying this. Calling this epic fail a win would certainly be my sardonic personality shining through.

#2 – Surviving Thriving at the Laundromat

Not very far into my new life, my washing machine broke down. While the landlord came to the rescue with a new machine two weeks later, my minimalist perspective of life had me in a bind. I was out of clothes, towels and wash cloths.

Now I was not about to be that adult who moves out, only to come home a little while later for the sole purpose of having your mom do your laundry.

So, with the situation dire, I braved the laundromat.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Laundromat owners must be stinking RICH. $3 per wash?? $3.50 per dry?????
  • All kinds of people hang out at the laundromat… I’m pretty sure not all of them are doing laundry.
  • Some people bring their laundry and leave, then come back a couple of hours later to pack it up. I still can’t decide if that’s courageously smart or really, really stupid.
  • You should always bring food with you because you will be bored and it is easily the best boredom cure. Also, everyone will stare longingly at your meal while you just smile in that “I know you wish you were me” kind of way.
  • You’ll have to ignore a creepy, pot-bellied, clothed in riding up ratty t-shirt, old guy who spends the entirety of your stay staring at you.
  • You may feel an insane desire to leave as soon as the wash cycle finishes. If this happens, just dump your sopping wet clothes on the backseat of your car and speeeeeeeeeed outta there.

#3 – Growing a Dying Garden

More recently, I was inspired by the warming season to start an indoor garden. I eat a lot of veggies so this seemed the obvious thing to do!

But, uh, be careful what you choose to grow.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Indoor plants attract bugs just like outdoor plants and indoor veggies left sitting on the counter a couple of days too long.
  • Tomato plants take FOREVER to grow so, like, plant them in 2016.
  • Don’t buy a dying tomato plant.
  • If the plant has a teensy bit of purple-blue hue on its leaves and it doesn’t normally have purple-blue leaves, don’t buy it. The thing is diseased.
  • It is actually possible to feel emotional over a dying tomato plant.
  • Green onion is so extremely incredibly easy to grow!
  • I don’t actually eat that much green onion…………….

#4 – Old Lady-ing in a Dance Cardio Class

I’ve always loved to dance- be it in worship or like a lunatic to that. sick. beat.

The point is- it’s fun and exhilarating and I could do it for hours. So, obviously I figured this would make the perfect exercise routine!

I’ve always been curious about dance cardio classes and this last week my curiosity was permanently satisfied. My sister and I signed up for a class that was within walking distance for the both of us.

Here’s what I learned:

  • I am an older lady than the old lady who was in the class.
  • That old lady had better rhythm than me (of course she already knew the moves…).
  • Apparently I don’t know that many dance moves.
  • Dance is fun, except for when it’s exercise and you don’t know the choreography.
  • My sister, who just birthed a child, can keep up with a group of fit people better than I can.
  • I should probably try a belly-dancing class next, as the slow version of it was the only part I could keep up with.
  • Even though the instructor tells you that nobody is going to laugh at you, people will laugh at you. Instructor included.
  • Custard never tasted so good as it did post-class.
  • Turns out I crave Mexican food when I dance.

What are some new things you tried when moving out on your own to be adultier?

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