Reading Revival.

Last night was the Girls’ Night In book club meet up in DC (shameless plug for GNI- follow their Instagram and subscribe to their newsletter) and let me just tell you it took me back to high school English class in the best way possible. Not only did we discuss a book that was interesting (Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong) but it gave me the creative inertia to write something again. So like, also, hi. It’s been a while. 

I started reading again at the beginning of this year because I was having trouble sleeping at night. I could give you scientific facts about how technology inhibits the secretion of melatonin in the brain or whatever, but instead, I’m just gonna go with the fact that you’ve probably suffered from technology-induced insomnia, too. And the worst part of not being able to fall asleep is the stress of knowing you can’t fall asleep. It’s honestly just a downward spiral to panic-ville. Not cute. 

But, aside from upping my nighttime routine, reading re-sparked my love for being creative and telling stories. I found myself analyzing storytelling techniques, mimicking character development, and more generally, being mindful of the way I reveal plot points in my own stories. Reflecting on the differences in the characters I was reading about lead me to develop an understanding of narratives from different perspectives. A kind of empathy I could bring to the real world.

The book club didn’t make me realize this- I was already conscious of my reading revival. But, the book club helped me realize that there are other women out there that want to grow from the books they’re reading, too. They want to understand the relationships between characters and relate it to their own personal development.

Goodbye, Vitamin was not the easiest book for me to relate to. The characters are much older, the subject touches on illness in the family and divorce, and the main character is extremely immature and underdeveloped. Yet, through the writing style of the book, I was able to fall for the positive spin on the plot’s most tragic moments. It was my type of thinking, my type of approach to challenges in life. In a time of stress and self-inflicted isolation due to exam week overload, it was nice to come home and share my perspective with someone- even if all else was completely unrelatable to me. 

So to conclude, read a book. It’s unfortunate how we don’t appreciate words on a page as much as subtitles on a screen. I think it’s time to trade Netflix for novels. Not optional. Please and thank you.

Stuck in my head: Tuesday // Hippo Campus
Snap it: my beeeeed!

P.S. The March book club book is Text Me When You Get Home. Check it out. 

Going Home After This.

Life works in crazy ways- but for some reason, it always works. I’ve been #blessed with some kick-ass internships and I’ve been lucky to learn so much. This semester is definitely no different.

I’m excited to share my spring internship with Girls’ Night In. Their goal is to “help ambitious millennial women take a break, recharge, and connect with other like-minded women.” Translation: it’s a place to shamelessly put yourself and your health first, and connect with other women that are doing the same. Think the Skimm newsletter meets Refinery29’s girl power meets your best friend.

My role on the team is to manage audience engagement on social media and plan influencer takeovers for Instagram Stories. Two weeks in and I’ve already learned so much it’s incredible. But even better than the experience is the team. I’ve yet to meet a bunch of them, but the CEO/founder, Alisha Ramos, is so smart, talented, and forward-thinking it’s almost absurd. A little background: Alisha left her position at a tech startup to start and focus on Girls’ Night In after she realized her own self-care was slipping. There’s a ton more to the story, and she made sure to share it in this article. After just the first four collaboration sessions, I’m already thinking more about creating purposeful content, staying on brand, and prioritizing work-life balance.

Besides being an amazing opportunity, GNI’s mission hits home for me. By now you’ve probably realized that I’m a bonified psycho when it comes to staying busy, productive, and breathless. Between lectures, internships, sorority, and clubs, sometimes the *pause* moments slip away. This semester I want to internalize the message I’m sharing with GNI and make more time for the calm before the storm that is my life.

For me, self-care looks like 6:30am workout sessions, reading before bed, trying to remember to moisturize, and writing about the challenges and celebrations in my life. I want to learn how to treat myself to doing nothing and indulging in things that innately make me feel guilty- like cake and sleeping in. Self-care isn’t selfish and it’s time for me to accept it.

So, by now you should all be busting out of your seats to follow Girls’ Night In on Instagram. And I feel like I definitely undermentioned their killer newsletter that gives me a reason to get going every Friday. Think weekly must-haves, must-reads, and must-see gifs. And watch their #SelfCareSaturday takeover series every week to see all my hard work in action.

Oh, and get ready for a whole lot of self-love. Because it’s here to stay.

Stuck in my head: Issues // Julia Michaels
Snap it: Shamelessly drove to the closest mural to take this… Hyattsville, MD