Should I be a YouTuber? (10 of 30)

So, this is shocking, I know… But I am still asking the question of:

what am I doing with my life?

and I still don’t have any answers.

I have a list of things that I have interest in and I have started on all sorts of different projects (I published a children’s book.. I have an Etsy shop… I have this blog… I have a stack of art and illustrations in my studio… I know how to sew… I like learning about personality typologies… I have a passion for language and reading and childhood and creativity and small businesses and education and lists…).  I currently get paid for doing occasional architectural freelance work (that’s what my college degree is in), babysitting, and cleaning a couple houses.  So I make some money, but not much. And I am married. Just in case you are wondering how I am not homeless yet…

But anyway, recently I have been considering the possibility of starting a YouTube channel.  While I think it could be a cool format to share some of my passions, there are all sorts of things hindering me from doing this… but I decided to take a bunch of online quizzes to see what the internet had to say. Here are the answers I got:

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Let’s just take a second to laugh at the one that said I should have a Beauty channel.  I don’t know what I possibly could have answered to get that outcome, but I can assure you that I am neither qualified, nor do I have any desire to start a beauty channel. (Props to people who do! That’s just SO not me.  The only makeup I put on most days is eyeliner. I don’t even own eyeshadow.  My little sister had to teach me how to use foundation before my college graduation.) Needless to say, Beauty Channel won’t be the direction I go with my future.

I can’t say that these were the most enlightening online quizzes I have ever taken. (But I also cannot say that they were the least enlightening either…) There were also some YouTube videos that I watched about the process of making a YouTube video and some of the things to consider.  Here’s one of them:

I also watched (and took notes on) the free portion of the video series here… which had some good points, but was honestly pretty intuitive information overall.  Here are the notes I took:

jumpcut notes

While the this whole process did not end up being remarkably helpful for determining if I should or should not be a YouTuber, I did listen to a podcast yesterday that included a lot of good things to consider. Find it here on Personality Hacker’s website. Basically it was suggested that those of us ‘who don’t know what we are doing with our lives’ are asking the wrong question.  We should instead be asking, what skills would I like to develop? And who can I talk to who is successful in something that might be even slightly interested in? Because a job/career path is more likely to be the emergent of these things that it is just going to fall in our lap one day while we are taking online quizzes.

So I guess that’s what I will be journaling about for the next few days… what skills do I want to focus on developing?  And who would I love to gain some wisdom from in my life?

Do you feel like you have found your passion in life? What got you to that point?  I’d love you hear your stories, so please feel free to share them in the comments!

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Should I be a YouTuber? (10 of 30)

Indoor Plants (5 of 30)

New Plants!!

Recently I bought four new plants for my house: basil, aloe, rosemary, and a Janet Craig Dracaena (seen here.  mine looks most like the ‘compacta’ one at the end of the article.)

Picking these out and repotting them reminded me of a time in my childhood when I would answer the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with the answer “gardener” and the question of “what’s your favorite color?” with the answer “yellow, because the sun is yellow.”

(side note: For a while during a similar period of my life my answers instead were “artist” and “white, because you can draw any color on it.”  (Yes, my answers always seemed to have some sort of logical reasoning behind them…))

Anyway, back to my new plants…

I have killed many a plant in my life… not including the gardens my dad and I attempted over and over again in elementary school, I have also said farewell to a cactus in high school, a basil plant a few years ago, and a rosemary plant this past fall.  My saying has become: I am great with babies, awful with plants.  (I mean, babies also make it pretty dang apparent when they are unhappy… Perhaps if my plants cried audibly… Though not looking to grow any Mandrakes anytime soon…) Needless to say, my dreams of becoming a gardener have gone unfulfilled.

However, there is always hope, and that’s why I am trying again.  And this time hopefully I will actually pay attention to their individual light, water, and temperature needs.


Resources

Here are some helpful references I have discovered along the way:

Pruning BasilDracaena Janet Craig / Aloe Vera / Rosemary

(Basically what I have learned in reading these is that I have been over-watering every single one. And that is probably part of how I killed my last rosemary plant. Also I have a feeling I replanted the Janet Craig in exactly the WRONG type of potting soil… CRAP.  Well, at least I have gained many insights into why I have destroyed so many plants.  I assumed they just needed water, soil, and sun… But little did I know, that the levels and types of all of those things matter way more than they ever taught me in elementary school!)

Specific notes

Aloe Vera: DO NOT OVERWATER. Use well-draining soil meant for succulents. Needs pretty high sun exposure.

Rosemary: Needs good air circulation and 6 – 8 hours of full sunlight. (eek! that’s a lot of sun for a plant I currently have indoors!)

Basil: Prune for more leaves and a bushy plant

Janet Craig Dracaena: Low-light plant, but grows best in filtered sunlight. Needs well-draining soil. Stay away from perlite.

General: Make sure to repot when necessary!


 

janet craig care_fertilizer
source: Plant Care TodayPlant Care Today

 


Questions for You

Do you have any indoor plants? Or an outdoor garden?  Which are your most resilient plants? Or the most delicate? (I have heard that orchids are remarkably difficult to care for!) Do you grow anything that is edible?  Have any helpful resources to share? I look forward to reading any comments below. :)

Indoor Plants (5 of 30)

1 of 30

General Ramblings

Who do you want to be?
How do you want to be?

I want to be able to write a blog post without second guessing every word and sentence that I type.    I want to be thoughtful and intentional, but and confident and full of self love.  I want to be logical and full of faith. I want to have mystical experiences and a healthy amount of doubt. I want to follow through on the things that I begin.  I want to be calm about life in general, and passionate about things that I think matter, and intensely emotional sometimes, because that’s life and living and being human.  I want to do what I love but not at the expense of the planet or my family or our financial security. Or maybe I am okay risking my financial security.  I don’t know.

Maybe that’s my motto: I don’t know.  One time someone pointed out to me that I say that a lot. Other people use umm and like (and I use those too, I’m sure), but they pointed out that one of my fillers is definitely ‘I don’t know.’  Which is fascinating the more that I think about it… Am I that lacking in confidence that even when I am just talking about my own opinion I feel like I need to express my lack of certainty?  Is there a degree to which that could be healthy?  Humble? Or is it a lack of self-esteem?

Do my constant questions get annoying?  Maybe in addition to writing a blog post a day for a month I should have some additional side quests.  Like writing a whole post without any hypothetical questions or questions in general.  Creating a ‘visual storytelling’ post (see an awesome example here).

What I really would love is some clarity.  Like, what am I doing with this life?  Am I living it in a way that on my deathbed I won’t look back filled with regrets? What are the things I care about and are they incorporated into my daily life?  Am I making responsible choices?  Am I positively impacting the world and lives around me?  Am I growing? Am I healthy (emotionally, physically, spiritually, and anything that I forgot)? What have I always wanted to do or improve at that I have been too afraid to actually pursue/try?  (skydiving, check.  not killing my houseplants, NOT check.)

I think part of why I feel like I keep writing these same posts over and over again of: this time is different! here are my goals! new years resolutions! is because, I think, humans are BY NATURE forgetful.  We constantly have to be reminded of things.  Especially in a world where our attention is being pulled so many directions all day long.  And I have found that especially without much routine that I have a definite issue forming new habits and reaching goals.  I mean, I did write, illustrate and publish my children’s book… So I guess I need to not be so hard on myself… But I feel like I have been struggling to get motivated about something new and so I guess this is my attempt at re-centering myself.


Letter to Myself

Dear Megan,

If you are reading this, that means that you are struggling to write a blog post.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Be gentle with yourself.  No sense beating yourself up because that only causes shame and a loss of self esteem and more money spent on Leinenkugel’s.
  2. Let’s be honest.  You aren’t some big lifestyle blogger or something, so if you post something that isn’t remarkably stellar it really isn’t that big of a deal!  The people who genuinely love you will have grace for occasional mediocrity and the other people have 82 bajillion other blogs they could read (like this one or this one or this one) if your blog doesn’t pique their interest anymore.  AND THAT’S OKAY.
  3. What is it that your ‘welcome‘ page says?

    “glad to have you here in my little space of thought and processing.  pardon the mess.  that’s just the way life goes around here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you ask me.”

    This is the CONTEXT for this ENTIRE BLOG.  If people want perfection, the internet provides plenty of sites that offer pristine kitchen photos and make-up tutorials (not hating on those, just saying that’s not why I am here) Plus, you’re working on your other “more professional” site that can be as professional/perfect as you want it to be.

  4. This is about knowing that you are capable of meeting the goals that you set for yourself.  This is about empowerment. This is about commitments and positive life changes.
  5. Here are some ideas in case you’re still stuck:  review a book you read, post art you made, update your Blacksburg walking progress, thoughts on a recent podcast you listened to, things to do with kids, Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery app review with all of those screenshots you have been taking, a hope, a fear, a question, a myth, something that is often misunderstood about personality typology, a yummy new recipe….

This is about to be corny as hell, but don’t cringe and just go with it: Past Megan believes in you, Future Megan.  You got this.  (also, totally thinking about a time in freshmen year when we made time capsules and someone-who-I-will-not-name joked about peppy self-letters filled with corny encouragement just like this. lol You know who you are… ;) )

Sincerely,

Yourself

1 of 30

I care…

A constant question in my life is: how open should I be?  I have no problem sharing things about my life; I’d rather be fully transparent, with all my cards on the table, than try to bluff my way through.  But I’ve found other people don’t necessarily appreciate that.  And because I have these remarkably frustrating and deeply seated need to please people, I filter what I share.  I care about my reputation; I care about being authentic; I care about being trustworthy; I care about not being judged.  I care about whether people think I am being over-dramatic or a self-obsessed asshole.  I care about whether people will judge me for swearing and if that will sway their decision to let me babysit their kids (even though I would obviously never swear in front of children!!).  I care about if I am wearing a shirt that my sweat will show through.  I care about if the shoes I am wearing are too loud when I walk.  I care about finding the balance between authenticity and privacy.  I care about my motivations for posting things and I care about other people perceptions of my motivations for posting things.  I overthink and overanalyze.  I am remarkably self-conscious about how many times I have used the word ‘I’ in this post so far…

A caption from my Instagram, to further reiterate:

“To anyone who saw my little overthinking breakdown on my story last night, I apologize… I mean, I’m not going to lie, all of those thoughts are pretty much always bubbling just below the surface anyway… But there was a trigger last night that brought them to the surface and apparently onto social media. There have been such a variety of experiences and events over the last few years of my life that have shaped me, but I’m remarkably insecure about admitting to some of them. And maybe I don’t have to, maybe that’s not any of your business. Maybe privacy in the midst of social media is something I should embrace more. But where is the line of authenticity drawn? Is all of this just a way of pretending we have friends and relationships when what we really have are followers? Where do honesty and vulnerability reside? What would my life have been like without the pressure to present things are certain way on the internet? What of this is an act and who am I really? And the biggest question of the moment, am I the only one? Does this bother other people? Do you have doubts you’re afraid to share? Do you know who you are at your core? Would you admit it if you didn’t?”

I care…

GOAL: walk all the streets

I am tired of seeing the same route every time I go for a walk.  I am tired of the extra pounds I have put on since being married.  I am tired of not having any goals that I get me excited.  I am tired of not feeling proud of myself… and in fact, feeling kind of like a loser.  So I am working to change that.  Let’s go 2018.

Goal #1: Walk all the streets in Blacksburg.

(Yes.. I recognize that I am going to have to put some constraints and limits on this but I haven’t yet figured out what those are.  One I do know, however, is I will not be walking the highway (460 for you locals).  Two: I will not be trespassing on any private property or restricted areas.  Edge boundaries are TBD.)

Three days so far to test this idea.  It’s actually been a blast, getting to walk streets full of old memories, but also explore new little nooks and crannies of the town I have lived in for now… what would it be… 6.5 years.

December 17 to 20

I think there will be more maps to come… This project has gotten me thinking about all the knowledge of this place I have accumulated over my time in Blacksburg and how desperate I was for information when I first came here as a freshmen at Virginia Tech.  Stay tuned for more in the future!

december 18d

dec 17 to 20 listsdecember 18 to 20

GOAL: walk all the streets

Shockingly Original Post Idea (aka thanksgiving)

Hi friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!! I know the holidays can be a difficult time for some, ranging from the normal stress and pressure associated with travel/plans or more intense emotions (grief, loneliness..).  So I hope wherever you are today, whoever you are with, that it is as restful as possible.

I just wanted to share a few of the things I am thankful for this year and then share one new art-related technique I attempted recently.

As for things that I am thankful for… there are so many in this season of life right now that it’ll be hard to list.  And I am thankful for feeling like I can even write that.  As some of you know, I have struggled on and off with depression since middle school and there have been quite a few thanksgivings that I haven’t felt so thankful.  Sometimes it is just so difficult, when you’re in the darkness, to see any light at all.  Especially when there is additional social pressure because of a holiday.  Or when your brain says, “you really should be happy, you have nothing to be so depressed about, what is wrong with you, look at all the people in the world who are so much worse off than you.”  Comparison, though it may seem logical, is not beneficial in those moments.  But I digress…

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family, both biological and in-laws.  I am thankful for their love for me and each other.
I am thankful for how much effort my parents have put into their marriage throughout the last year.  Coming back from the brink of divorce is no small thing and I am so grateful.
I am thankful for my husband who works so hard for our family and who cares so deeply for those he loves.
I am thankful for the time I got to spend with the family who hired me to nanny for them.  I can honestly say that I can think of no other way I would have rather spent that time and I can think of no other family who would have been more loving, more wonderful than they are.  (Love you Caro!) See you again so soon!
I am thankful for my part-time architectural drafting work and for the free time to pursue art/design/collage/sewing/baking/knitting/children’s book writing.  It really has been such a life-giving combination so far.
I am thankful for our new apartment, for no rats, for privacy (and no topless neighbors on the roof outside of my kitchen window), for a guest room I am not embarrassed to have guests stay in, for a washer and dryer in our apartment (!!! goodbye laundromat!)
I am thankful for friends and moments together and laughter and phone calls (even though they definitely aren’t the same as hanging out in person).
I am thankful for the freedom I feel to explore my beliefs and express myself and be who I am.
And I think I can also honestly say in this moment, that I am thankful for the lows… They make the good times so much sweeter, they help me empathize, they provide creative inspiration.  But I am also SO thankful that that’s not where I am right now.

What are you thankful for?

 

And a final little aside: I have been working on developing a children’s book recently and, even if it only ends up on my shelf and the shelf of my beloved little friend, it has been a really awesome experience.  This week I attempted to digitally add some color to a couple of the layouts I had drawn during inktober:

These were just quick digital sketches designed to help me plan how I want to physically paint them with watercolors and it was really satisfying to get to interlace analog and digital methods so seamlessly!

Which one do you prefer?

Thanks for reading.
Talk to you soon!
M

Shockingly Original Post Idea (aka thanksgiving)