Reflecting on the last few months...

So the last time I wrote on this blog was February. Clearly the whole "be consistent with writing" thing died, but I figured I'd update you since a lot has happened in the past few months! 

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When 2018 started, I had a overarching goal that I wanted to be more consistent with my life. I had planned to spend the year actively changing who I was into something better. And I am so incredibly proud to say that 7 months in, I have done that. Some of it has been harder than others, and I haven't made quite as much progress as I had maybe hoped, but I'm definitely on my way. I've spent each month focusing on a small part of my life (YouTube, writing, reading, going to church every week, working out, etc.) and so far it's been so incredibly helpful in keeping track of how I want to change my life. July is all about exercise - so I got a gym membership and I'm hoping to work out at least three times a week for the whole month. But, as a result of this plan, I've made a lot of nice changes to my life - I've read like 15-20 books this year, I've posted a video to my channel every week except for two I think, I finished a whole four drafts of my poetry collection, and I've been going to church a lot more than usual. 

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I ended up cutting my bangs again a few months in, and I'm working hard to document as much of my life as I can. Last year it was all about photos, and this year I got a vlogging camera so I can get videos and audio of my life. It's been really a fun experience and I can't wait to share the final product with you in a few months at the end of the year!! I also included a photo of some food because I'm currently trying to be better at cooking for myself and possibly even attempt the Whole30...stay tuned on that last one haha

My photo business has been very up and down - a lot of new clients, a lot of spontaneous shoots, a lot of potential collaborators - and I'm honestly okay with it. I've done a pretty good job of making money this year (even as I keep spending it) and I'm still really proud with all the jobs I've gotten this year for my business. I got some new regulars for social media shoots too which has been nice (Love you Latrice!!).

I also turned 23 in May!! My birthday was full of friends and good movies and nostalgic food and I could not have asked for a better day. I was really sad leaving 22 behind, but now I'm wiser and more experienced and I can already tell that 23 is a year I'll remember forever.

I think at 23, it’s time to practice what I preach...and what I preach is - tell me it’s okay to be happy now because I’m happy now.
— Paramore

This year I claimed I was going to stop traveling like a maniac, but somehow that idea just bit me in the butt...because all I've done for the past like six months is travel like a crazy person. If I'm not making weekend trips home, I'm driving to Kentucky for work or flying to New York for a conference or planning a flight to Boston for a musical. I've been back home so much in the past few months, and I'm so grateful for that time, as brief as those weekends are.

I got to go to New York for BookExpo and to visit one of my best friends from high school, and overall it was a truly incredible week. My book friends always bring me so much joy, and we had so many fun photoshoots!! Laura and I spent a lot of time taking photos and going to the coolest Instagram spots we could find - plus we even ended up meeting one of the cast members of Brooklyn Nine-Nine while getting tacos!!

Okay, so now we're on to the best part of my life update. Taylor Swift. Love of my life, queen of my heart, my PERSON. The last day of my New York trip, I actually skipped BookCon and flew out to Chicago for the weekend to see Taylor perform live at her stadium tour. And it was incredible! I went with one of my good internet friends Hailee, and we spent the entire night dancing and screaming our heads off. It rained, Taylor gave a speech about Pride month, I saw her up close on the b-stage, she played 22...you couldn't ask for anything more. Until...

A few weeks later, the week of June 28th, Hailee got a message from Taylor's management company that invited her and a plus one to this special event for AT&T. And Hailee asked me to go with her. So, after driving 8 hours back to Nashville from Arkansas on a Monday, a few days later on Thursday I drove 8 hours up to Chicago to ummm MEET TAYLOR SWIFT. She threw us a private 200 person concert, played an acoustic set, and then afterwards we got to meet her and take a photo. And let me tell you, it changed my life. I won't share the full story since it's kinda long, but if you watch my YouTube channel, I'll be making a video about it soon. It's a wild ride.

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Of course...it doesn't stop there. That happened on Thursday, but on Saturday I left Chicago to drive back down to Louisville, KY with my childhood bestie Hannah and we saw Taylor AGAIN for my second round of the stadium tour. This time we were on the floor, and we actually got to watch her up close at the barricade where she walks through the crowd. She played "Mine" on the b-stage...only a few days after I specifically asked her to play a song from that album (so basically she listened to me?!!?!). We had so much fun, and I felt incredibly blessed to get to see her back-to-back. And I still get to see her one last time in Nashville in August!!!

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Going into this year, I really wanted to be that person who could relate to Taylor's song Call It What You Want where she says "I'm doin' better than I ever was." And while I still have a messy room, I'm still bad at self-care and nutrition and being consistent in all areas of my life, I feel more like myself than ever. (Part of that is probably because I finally met Taylor Swift after 10 years, but hey, who cares.) I know I still have a long way to go, and I'm desperately going to try and work hard these last few months of 2018, but I've really excited to see who I am in December. I have a good feeling about all of this. 

So that's what you missed on Glee!