The Big 1.0.0.

This week I shared my 100th post and I didn’t even notice. Like talk about letting a big moment slip by. Come on, J, let’s get it together here.

I started my blog back in September of 2016 with this post about losing my blog-ginity and how I wanted to develop my personal edge through writing. The “OK, let’s do this now” came from my, at the time, favorite Instagrammer, and the name came from my love for my campus and my city. 

That’s when the creativity took off and I started to develop my voice. I shared about my internships with CAVA, Marriott, and GNI and started to try new things, like going vegan for a week. I dedicated posts to people that make me so happy and vacations that made me really feel like I was living fully. From burnout to pushing through the push-up pain, I’ve found a passion for writing for other people and become a much more reflective, self-actualized person.

In Summer 2017, I felt like I’d outgrown the image I’d created. I wanted to own my female experience and speak more to social media. That’s when The Next Classic was born, in 12 hours, from my parent’s beachside bedroom. The perspective matured, just as I had in freshman year. In this swap, I can hear a change in the way I saw, and now see, the world around me. 

This post is like bringing the cake to the party, it just felt necessary to round up some of my all-time favorite works and bring them back from the blog graveyard. To celebrate 100, I’m resharing two old posts with new insight.

The first one comes tomorrow.  

My blog has seen me grow professionally and personally and I’m proud of how my work and my character have evolved. It’s time to stop and smell the syntax, but not without a true, sincere thank you to everyone that’s helped me along the way. From Instagram DMs to comments on the site, my family and friends are really the ones who built this. I owe all my confidence, and probably a couple internships, to you. 

I’m still impressed with myself from the “stop and smell the syntax line,” so we’re going to end with that. Let’s stop and smell the syntax, friends. 


Stuck in my head: Butterfly // Delicate Steve
Snap it: Herald Square, 2016. It felt like time to bring this back.

To Creative Courage.

It takes a certain type of personality to feel comfortable with creativity. It’s a daunting thing to speak your ideas despite fears of rejection and criticism. There’s a lot of nervousness in sitting as others dissect your every thought, logic, reason. So here’s my take on finding creative courage. Sharing your thoughts. Controlling your narrative. Using your voice.

In school, I think we learn to associate creativity with simplistic art forms. You have drawing, painting, sculpting, photography. I really feel like it was all black and white. Either you had the hand of Van Gogh, or you shied away from any kind of expression. I also think that approach to a creative mind prevents people from exploring other, sometimes lesser known, avenues. Basically, if you’re not gifted from the minute your pen hits paper, give up, you’re probably a math kid. 

But in recent educational experiences, specifically in internships and business school projects, I’ve learned that the creative energy I’ve found through writing has helped me develop comfort with talking others through my ideas. I’ve also come to find that it’s something a lot of people face insecurity with.

I do think a lot of being vocal about your ideas and initiatives is personality based, but it’s also built out of that fundamental idea that you’re either creative or you’re not. I personally think that everyone is creative, but some people ignore it due to fear of judgment. There are principles and recommendations developed by innovative design firms that explain how to pull the inventive energy out of people, but I think it’s simpler than that. It’s about learning to accept feedback productively rather than as an attack and singing into the microphone, even when you don’t know the words. Because you never know what note might inspire the person next to you. 

All in all, explore your options. There’s more to developing your creative potential than what meets the eye. Some of my close friends use Instagram to put their ideas into action while others create their own yoga salutations that meet their needs. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but once you find it, it’ll change the way you present your voice. I’m not saying you’ll find your visionary passion and automatically be able to scream your ideas from the rooftops, but it might just show you that an innovative mind is something people really value. No matter how crazy and out of this world your suggestions may seem, they’re inspiring, they’re empowering, they’re adding to a greater conversation.

And, something I’ve come to accept is that you don’t have to be perfect at something to use it as a creative outlet. I’ve started sketching and using the Adobe Suite, mostly for graphic design, to try to build my artistic eye. Am I great at either? Not really. Is it something to channel stress and inventive energy into? You bet. 

So this Thanksgiving, I challenge you to share an idea at your table. Whether it’s your suggestion to solve global warming or your take on if all the Kardashians are really pregnant at the same time, see where it takes the conversation. Finding creative courage only takes two steps: open your mouth and speak. 


Stuck in my head: Wait // M83
Snap it: Washington, DC