Quote Challenge Day 2

Thanks to alceptress for nominating me for the three-day quote challenge!

In my early teens, I worshiped a manga called The Prince of Tennis. As an avid tennis player myself, I appreciated the characters’ tenacity as well as their humorous twists on regular tennis shots. One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the series’s author and illustrator, Takeshi Konomi:

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From the beginning of the ninth book — my favorite quote of all!

“What’s worthwhile is never easy.”

This applies to anything — from sports to writing to whatever your passion may be. There are no shortcuts; we have to put in the work.

Today I’m nominating Blooming Laura and anotetohuguette. The rules: post three quotes across three different days, link to my blog, and nominate two new bloggers, if you choose to do so 🙂

Missed part one? Check it out here. Stay turned for part three!

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Quote Challenge Day 1

Thanks to alceptress for nominating me for the three-day quote challenge!

“‘That’s not a bad thing–not being the hookup type,’ she says, ignoring me. ‘And neither is being the girl who likes the hook-up. What makes any of it wrong is when you pretend to be something you’re not. That’s when the heartache starts.’

– Katie McGarry, Nowhere But Here

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{Guest Post} Finding Myself

{Hi all, Natalie here. Today’s post was graciously written by Julie from Just a Girl and a Bike. You don’t need to be a cyclist to appreciate her ruminations on meaningful living — enjoy! 🙂 }

I used to strive to reach my full potential by checking things off a mental to do list.  Despite the unexpected challenges that life presents, the unplanned paths that appear, physical situations or mental states of mind, I simply could not let go of focus on the plan.  If I did not accomplish the things that I had set out to do, then I would not be successful.

I truly believed that self-realization could only be obtained by force.

handsI now believe that self-realization is a very personal path.  It is different for each unique being.  For me, I will not obtain it unless I live more purposefully.  I must stop constantly looking ahead, and spend time seeking the things that have meaning for my being in the current moment. Continue reading

Stressin’ Out

No doubt about it: stress sucks.

It’s not bad in small quantities. Roller coasters stress your body; athletes play despite the pressure to win; some writers need an imminent deadline to produce work (I couldn’t possibly be describing myself 😉 ). But in large quantities, when lots of problems and deadlines and responsibilities pile onto each other, stress hurts — and it’s unhealthy, too.

It’s easy to say “Deal with it.” It’s harder to say how.

Stressed Eggs

Photo Credit: Flickr user Bernard Goldbach

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Life Lessons from a Hiatus

An employee grinding away at the same menial tasks day after day. An author struggling with writer’s block. A professional athlete in a slump. A self-employed entrepreneur exhausted from constantly marketing their brand/product. A blogger whose posts garner only a few views.

Sometimes, no matter how much you love something, you need a break.

Recently, I took a double hiatus, from writing and my full-time job. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading

MTV Publication!

“Is this real life? Is it just fantasy?”

This has been one of those weeks that can’t possibly be real. Queen, it must be fantasy.

Yesterday, I found out that Nanoism accepted my twitter fiction. Today, MTV accepted my essay on overcoming gender stereotypes, “Confessions from an Ex-Sexist.”

Woohoo! What an awesome start to the week (and to April).

Check out my short article here. Let’s show MTV some love 🙂

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Questioning Gender Neutrality

I had originally planned to post about my recent ballroom competition, but the discussion spurred by a public Facebook status prompted me to change my line-up.

Let’s talk about gender neutrality.

The Facebook status links to a click-bait article praising Target for creating gender neutral bedding for kids. I have nothing against gender neutral items like the gray, plush octopus in the article’s photo. Rock your style! Kids should choose their bedding based on their individual interests, not their gender. I fully support that.

The article, though, makes me question the concept of gender neutral products. What, exactly, is the purpose of these items? Do they serve as a safe, androgynous choice for kids with a burgeoning interest in the “wrong” gender’s products? Or, as a girl with masculine interests, am I supposed to choose the more-acceptable, gender neutral bedding over the boys’ bedding? Does this new line of bedspreads create a third option in which there are “girl”, “boy”, and “neutral” comforters?

Shouldn’t bedding just be bedding? Continue reading