Spill it out: Being Like vs “like”

Social Media has changed how we live our lives and sometimes it can have very negative affect. We always cared about being liked, but now with social media, words like “instagram-famous,”  it’s a whole different kind of desire to be liked and it’s very hard as a blogger and a every day girl. 

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Do you ever get this frustrating feeling like everything you do now has to be valued by others?  What determines how GREAT a blog post, pictures of graduations,  or a status on going to a movie? Does it not mean anything if a post does not get at least get 50 likes. Maybe it’s because we live in a digital age where our lives are exposed–but remember: only some have heard and only a few actually know.

We worry so much about being liked physically and by a button. We care about how many followers we have on instagram to snapchat, how many friends we have on Facebook. Is it worth putting ourselves out there to be liked and followed because with those ‘likes’ also comes no likes and feelings of rejection.

Digit age has affect our lives. It’s weird but this is how our lives our lived now–online.  Social media and likes, counting the number of friends online is unhealthy. We shouldn’t care about being liked, but instead care about being respected, cared for and appreciated for who YOU are.

That “like” isn’t real.

The like and sometimes what we see in the picture isn’t what’s real.

I am guilty to this as well in my blogging and personally. But, I’m not blogging for the likes, I’m doing it for myself.  I am doing it cause I want to bring imperfection to the world.  But, I still want to be liked, naturally. When I post a status I get worried that I am “too much,” that some how that “like” will give me satisfaction or validation. I’ve been told by a guy that I was annoying, that he had to put up with me, so I had to put up with his burping in my face. Thus, I began to worry more. It took a lot of effort to say “fuck it, I’m sharing these pictures because I want to for me not for anyone else.” I’m not going to post “everything” I’m going to share what I want and others can think what they want. But, when I started blogging, I began to feel the same need to be liked and began struggling with it. I stressed because over followers, likes I was getting, the status of my post, how well a post was doing, and the unfollowing. When really it shouldn’t determine my worth and my ability to be a good writer/blogger. Worrying about being liked is a so unhealthy and is why I want to write this post.

As a blogger I want readers/followers that like what I put out and connect with my blog post and captions and/or photographs on my instagram. I don’t want someone to follow me or like the picture to get my attention or to just follow them. A lot of time it can feel like people are playing a game with you just to get those likes and followers. You say you want originality but you keep the fake accounts? What if you don’t connect with what they shared, you don’t agree with it, or it’s just not you.What good does that do anyone?! And if someone I follow, follows me back, I do get happy because that means they took time to read and saw what I was doing. They may have thought “hey we are on the same wave length.”

Liking a blog post, comments or responding to bloggers or post is good. Feed back is always important and likes, comments, etc are ways of giving feedback. Positive or negative–take the negative unless its direct at you personal–as room to grow! For me as a blogger to do a give away it’s not in my nature to be like “asking” for followers. Not saying for bloggers who do it isn’t bad thing it’s just not me. But a lot of times I ask myself where is the real in blogging anymore?!?! 

Note: When I network or connect with other bloggers or followers, I never say follow me. I talk to them like they are my friend, like we are drunk girls in the bathroom. I also take notice in who is following me and if I think we could easily be friends in IRL I follow back and comment to get to know, connect, and become friends. I might not do it right a way, but it takes a few times especially online before you realize this girl/boy is totally my bestie, or squad material.

For my non-blog-related posts I find it more satisfying when I post something and my friends who like it know the story behind that post. Remember just because you get all those likes all those numbers  doesn’t actually give you validation or worth. And it can make you feel good but only for a second, because at the end of the day all you have is yourself and the people who know what actually happened.  What really matters is who’s answering us and who’s there. That is when you know who’s in your life is real. Having the people who support you and know what’s happening in your life, who see what you are doing digitally but know what you are actually doing.  We want someone who’s going to like it for they know what’s behind your online message. Other’s are just guessing.

Just Remember:

It is better to be liked for who you are then what others want you to be; and if they don’t like you for who you are or what you put out via instagram, snapchat story, or status. Your not getting the “likes” fuck it–your worth isn’t determined by that.

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Top 6 Tips to be Summer Ready

memorial weekend is here; I haven’t had one in three summers and back in high school it  meant summer was almost here thus it was time to get “summer ready”. Here are some city girl tips on how to be summer ready…

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If you been watching pop TV shows, reading magazines, or blogs you will be seeing a lot of summer ready themed things. For me I never got summer ready it just meant I could wear shorts and sit outside and drink a cider. Life felt a lot more exciting and thrilling with summer. And those phrases like “summer body” or “getting swim suit ready” never really clicked with me but for someone else they could have–and not so positive either. Add those phrases that society needs to delete. Some may joke about getting summer body ready or how they will eat a pizza no matter what–some might not actually be joking. We all want to feel good in ourselves and our skin and its not just a seasonal thing either. But since summer is here and we are going to the beach or cabin more here are some top 6 tips on getting for “summer read” the self positive way…

Top 6 Tips to be Summer Ready


  1. My number one is to do something that makes you  feel good in your skin; if thats working out or eating. I am not one for diets; yes I don’t eat meat anymore but thats for health reasons. I always tell people is if you don’t feel good do something about it.  That is what I did; I started to work out, I stop drinking soda. Summer we are a little bit more exposed and we don’t want to feel unease with ourselves thus to be able to wear that killer swim suit  we need to feel good while wearing that. #1 do something to make you feel good in your own skin!
  2. Get your hair done! Summer is the time where I go get my hair done. There is nothing like having someone do your hair! I do it three times a year at best. I go in do the whole thing and I just feel like a totally new person and feel good for my hair is looking good. A new hair cut or colour is the key to that summer girl you are wanting to become.
  3. Less make up. In this heat you are going to get sweaty and make up is just going to drain from your face. Plus, being in the sun really helps your skin and you don’t want a huge layer blocking that. Put on the SPF some litter make up and let your natural beauty shine. The feeling good will come with less make up!
  4. Spend more time outside. For 8 months of the year we are inside because its too cold so spend as much time outside as possible even if its sitting reading. Sitting outside enjoy the day, the wind, the sun will honestly make you feel good cause there is nothing like fresh air!
  5. Socialize! Weekends are not only time to go and do something; you can easily do something during the week as well. It doesn’t even have to be drinking; thus one is fine. Being around people honestly brings the summer together and also really gets you motivated and confident. Good Energy!
  6. Take care of yourself! Spending a lot of time in the sun and outside can really tire a person out and  sure the tan not only looks good but makes you feel good it can also dry you out. Drink water, eat a lot of fruit, and take cold showers. Because even though its summer and there is something about summer sun, the ability to be outside, beer gardens you suddenly are in this summer bubble of happiness you still need to take care of yourself.

There is something definitely about summer that brings you to cloud 9 but what I learned is that its not only just a summer thing you can bring that cloud 9 year round by taking care of yourself and doing what makes you feel good.  The summer ready is so not about what we see on tV or in magazines or even on instagram; its in ourselves. I don’t want to feel gross, I want to feel good when I put on the jeans and I want to take care of myself. Enjoy this summer, get yourself ready and get yourself going for summer ready is just the start of a year of motivation, feeling good, looking good, glowing happiness for yourself! Brining that Summer Ready every month of the year.

 

Summer is a good start of a rock happy self  year round!

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Style: How my style has changed over the years

Confidence comes with age. The things I wear now I would have never worn in high school or even three years ago. But that’s what happen’s when you get older, your style changes because you start to change, you start to develop more, and feel more of who you are with no fear. Here’s how my style story plus more…

Confidence

Little old Tom Boy:

When I was little my mom dressed me and my sister with matching outfits a lot of the time for special days or holidays we went on. And my style was 100% 90s kid. I was Mary-Kate Olsen. I wore dressed but I didn’t care if I got them dirty. When I was 10 I asked for a a tool box and a hats. I have lots of hats because of this. I was the tom boy girl who still liked playing dress up. I had the candy necklaces. I had the odd clipps in my hair. And because I want to keep my pictures of younger me and memories personal here is pictures of Olsen twins because when I was younger I looked like them.

High School themed sweatshirts and pants:

My style was just trying to figure itself out in high school. I look back at picture of me in middle school and high school and just think how awkward I felt but how I wish I had a style. We would go school shopping but I would end up never wearing them–I wore sports gear or school themed clothing I got.  I’d take those quizzes on what my style is, just to help me figure it out, figure out what I liked. Who did I want to be; but everything I tried just didn’t feel like me or felt good in. I went through at lot of phases in high school; even did the whole black liner that a guy told me I shouldn’t cause I looked pretty without it. High school your suppose to be awkward, wearing yoga pants; not feeling good in your clothes. High school was the awkward years of clothes and style. I had no style.Today, not so much the case.

College:

I began to hit a peak in college, taking chances, putting on make up, doing my hair. My freshmen year I really was like “no more high school” dressing. I had a friend for all four years who was such a style and on point girl; who really put confidence in myself. I was on the floor as she sat above me to curl my eyelashes for the very first time, she gave me my first lipliner. I had no clue what anything was or what to do; but I began to just experience.  I began to dress up to go to class. Wearing leather pants out to the bars. I also wore sweatshirts and my leopard print shorts with UGG boots saw more then one day. I began to adore shorts with tights. And my style began to grow as I began to feel more like myself. But I still wasn’t feeling good especially in jeans.

 Irish influence:

I definitely was influenced by the Irish while living there; I mean I NEVER put on tan or wore heels before I moved there. But I began to do it; and now my heels are high and putting on tan is human nature to me.  But I’m definitely more confidence in my clothes; and wearing clothes that I wore or bought years ago now I feel more good in them. I am wearing jeans. And I am also wearing clothes I never thought I would wear.  Like low cut shirts, nice pair of slacks.  Confidence does come and changes how you dress yourself for sure. I definitely think all those pictures I pinned wishing my style was like that is now happening; I don’t feel like I’m playing dress up or look foolish. I do still feel this odd phase of working woman having to dress “conservative” but I own a lot of crop tops. Getting dress for work is were my confidence is slowly decreasing because I don’t feel good in those clothes or feel like me.  But I began to buy things that are “adulting” but still me. And I want my style in any situation every day to work to dressing up stay who I am.

 

What is my style now?

After all those quizes and all those pins; years of trying to figure out what my style was-the answer was just as simple as I wear what I like to wear and what makes me feel good. Some days its a sweatshirt and leggings, other days its a total put together outfit. But….I think if I had to define my style it would be grunge, casual, boho. I like the textiles and prints of boho and I like the easy going of grunge, and I just love t-shirt and jeans; keeping it casual. Maybe one day the crop tops will stop; but they really haven’t they are just coming in different styles now.

My biggest tip to when buying clothes, don’t buy something cause its trend and everyone else is buying it. Buy it cause you want it. Or if you like it and everyone has it either get it in a different colour or wear it different. Get a different style of some trend. Style is an individual thing, own it.

 

 

How I edit my photographs: instagram addition

I thought about doing this for awhile now.  I do have a background photography and so I know some stuff. 

edited photographs
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First let’s talk about how I organize them and the “aesthetic”

Aesthetic is an artist finger print of what they use throughout their work. I like bright, with dark shadows; I want blue, grey, and purple, sometimes green to pop in my photos. Sometimes orange/brown nature colours come out. EXAMPLE

Take the first set below; I used probably the same filter; but what I did was keep an eye of how each photo works together, going from the picture of the water to the brick wall with the words-both have dark shadows, blue hues. Then the sign picture to the bar picture, the signs orange reddish that transitions well with the bar and with the black contracts, then lighting does change  with bar being much brighter. So then the subject or object of each photo helps with the transition. Over the time my feed has changed, sometimes when your posting without planning things won’t look consistent and that is when I look for similarities. The second photo stock below is a good example of that. You can tell that my photos went from  bright to dark. The location changed, thus the lighting, object change with it. But between each one they worked together. I call my getting brighter picture my summer to winter season in photographs.

what I always do is use UnUm app to help with organising  photos.  I want to post and share, to help see where I want them. NOW i only do this for blogging! If I did this personal my head would be a nightmare.

image1Things to consider when you’re thinking about your instgram feed: 

  • Lightening
  • Try to stay away from really bright/dark photos
  • Subject/object
  • Have a “transition” photo-mine are usually black and white
  • Allow your instgram to change–those stock photos are over the year of my instgram but I kept the same “what I take and share”
  • Colour–I love colour–I’m really about blue, grey; even in summer.
  • Don’t think too hard about the astetic

What I take pictures of

I’m snap happy  and even though I was educated in photography I am not someone who is tedious–taking photos is just natural to me. I look at how the human eye sees it then i see how I see it. I take a picture of something 10 different ways. I take pictures of my feet. And my “need to be different” plays a lot in my instagram feed and staying true to who I am. I don’t want to take a picture from someone elses perspective, I want to take them  from my perspective. If I like how they did it I want to that picture myself, use it as inspiration. Allowing my ‘finger print’ in my creativity and photography to come out. Photograph is our own of how we see something a lot of the time.

But I do want my pictures to tell a story, even if it’s a picture of my coffee cup and sun glasses, my  advertising/marketing education comes into my mind for those things. Learning about rules of thirds, what you want the subject to be, human eye and understanding of what they are looking at.

Things to considers when taking a photograph:

  • Rules of Third
  • What your object is.
  • The question my professors ask me is “what do you want the picture to say”
  • Audience
  • Try different settings
  • Try manual
  • Learn about IOS and F stop
  • Don’t just take a photo from the “usual” perspective take it different angles

Camera’s used:

 Canon Sx600 HS

Canon EOS rebel T3

iPhone 6s

 

How I edit them 

Now to get to what people want to read about, editing. What I do when I edit is really what colours I really want to bring out and subject. Take these set  below , I used the same filter, I adjust them all the same way; yet there not the same; they work together that’s for sure.  The first photo at the top, of the building, the focus was on the building so I made sure that when I edited that wasn’t off; take the picture of my feet, with the lighting and shadows mixed together I edited so nothing was too dark or too bright. Working with the photo and focusing on the subject is key to editing photographs.

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I use VSCO like everyone else; my top three are A5, and HB1 HB2. Lately, I’ll go on instagram and do like 25-40 on Aden filter but thats usually when trying to make different photos taken at different times to fit together. If the photo is dark I raise the brightness or vis versa. I raise contrast, do a little bit of saturation and decrees temperature to max of 1.0 to get more of a blue tone to my photos. I never go over 2.0 when adjusting each tool. I might do extra things like fade, skin, etc but usually not.

If I do a selfie I always whiten my eyes, teeth and sometimes hair-to make it look like my hair went grey. SECRET OUT! But I rarely do selfies on my blog instagram.

What to consider when editing photos

  • to make the photos not look so photoshop
  • REAL is key
  • Don’t edit to much
  • stay away from any filters that really change the colour of your skin

And that’s how I do it! I love taking pictures for a lot of reasons but the main one is so I don’t forget the places I’ve been and what happen behind the picture because when I look at them I not only see the place but I remember who was with me, what I was feeling, what happen before and after, the words that were said, and how I was feeling in that moment. I remember everything in that picture even the stuff that isn’t captured. 

 

Comment below and tell me your favourite filter to use. Also do you do something different when editing? What do you like to take pictures? do you even like taking pictures or just do it when your on holiday or birthday?

 

 

 

How to deal with stress and the unknown

I’m someone who loves to know things–and I usually can figure it out — I am also someone who gets stress very easily. And well not knowing the future and me being the Peter Pan child I am–I’m going to talk about how to deal with those moments of the future.

How to Deal with Stress 

and the Unknown


If you read my post about being back you know that my “future” is very up in the air, stressful, full of anxiety and fears that I am going to live in that box my professor was talking about when we were becoming English majors. And there is a lot more to my future that makes me worry but bottom like it can be super scary, growing up and not having a clue. So I’ve been there, I’m going through it if you are too– here is what I do to relax and know that everything will be okay.

  1. Try not to think or plan too far a head. I hate the question what are you going to do after? Like I haven’t even gone to grad school yet and your already asking me what I am doing to do after grad school? (that happen). The key is really don’t have an answer to that 5 year plan. You should have your week, due dates written, important appointments booked but take one day at a time.
  2. Do something about it. I am someone who will be so worry about something and only way to ease the worry or stress is to do something about it. Like if I am stressing over the test, then I should study. If worry about getting a job; start applying to jobs. Pretty simple, unless your anxiety comes in just work at it, breath, take your time, there is no rush–see back to #1. d963af99fee99dc5720036ca240b377f
  3. TALK get advise, let it out. I find it comforting to talk to people, like friends, my mom. And just say whats on my mind to get advise. Even if its like “everything will work out” I am like “I’m just really inpatient.” Hearing others telling you advise, even if its something you roll your eyes at, or hear all the time. Hearing it from someone else eases your mind a little less–also talking it out to someone to be understanding is the BEST. And I have some really kick ass friends who listen to be bitch–so I appreciate them dearly638e34feeb88c5c693df36648d702d44
  4. Don’t compare yourself. It is easy to look at someone who’s similar to your situation like right out of college, same major, trying to make it in this adult world–yet they seem to be getting somewhere were your still struggling. You can’t compare yourself; because you are on your path–jealousy runs deep and it won’t help you at all. So remember what they do isn’t what you do–and maybe thats the push you need to get yourself going?
  5. Organize and Plan. The one way to ease your stress is to organize yourself and plan. Cause when stress its the littlest things that bother you. I feel so at easy because I organize my room. And I feel set with my plan for the day to get to my goals. Long or short.
  6. Remember you’re young. You don’t have to have life figured out, or that white picket fence. Or even have a job. You don’t have to be traveling the world either. You shouldn’t be stressing so much about things that haven’t happen–go back to #1. Do what you please, go after what you want, and don’t stress (to your best of ability).
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“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together” _Elizabeth Taylor

For more pictures follow A City Girl Story on instagram and for more fashion and inspiration FB page (up in the right hand corner)

xox

Kole.

Flash Fiction: Spinning Around

First Published in the Quarryman 2016, Volume 2

UntitledWe sit in the middle of the village, Ballyclare, a place so small everyone is related. We were in Fiona’s car, she in the driver’s seat talking about the day’s gossip. Julia in the front seat with her head out the window smoking a fag because if she got any smoke in the car Fiona will kill her; but I felt still getting into my lungs.

I’m in the back seat twiddling my thumbs, thinking how I could go home and read my brother’s paper. I also need  a shower. And by the time one of us decide to head home it would be ten o’clock, too late to take a shower, which meant I have to wake up early.

“What is the plan girls?” Fiona ask.

“Why don’t we go to the chipper and get some shakes?” I suggest.

“No, I have no money,” Julia said puffing away.

There really is no winning, it is always the same thing. We sit in the middle of town doing what we’ve been doing and and then when we grew sick of sitting, we do a quick spin around the loop.

My life had not always been like this. I went to college, I had a boyfriend from Germany, who before leaving to go back home wanted me to go with him to Germany for the summer. I had been nearly at the airport when my brother rang me about our mother once again. We still talk, after all these years apart, he still tempts me with a ticket. And I always say no.

Now, I wait tables every day. I come home to a mother who spends her days in bed, not sleeping, but gazing at the window, wishing for him to walk in the door. Plus, my younger brother couldn’t handle he needed someone there. I’ve been doing in for last two years.

Fiona stop the car by the pier, turning on the brights so we could see the waves; there were none.

“Let’s go skinny dipping?” I jokingly suggested.

“Too cold like,” Fiona said.

Julia lit up another one.

The girls did not know about my German boyfriend. No one knew. I always thought about telling them but I knew what they say: What about my brother? What about my mum? She isn’t getting any better.

Everyone who leaves always comes back. I came back because my brother needed me. B he’s seventeen. He’s not the little fourteen year-old who need’s his sister. He was going to leave. He’s always saying” “Once I turn eighteen. I’ll be gone.”

 That was 4 months away and then I have no priorities left. I pull out my phone and risk a text.  I know I’ll miss them, my girls, our spins around the village.

Fiona drop me off at my house. I saw my brother’s finish paper on the table. He did not need me to read it, but I took it anyway for one last look through. As I got into my bed  ready to read my brother’s paper, my phone went off. I looked at it;I got you a ticket.

Bad Dates and Self Love

Let me tell you about dating…

Bad dates
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There are no cute meets in coffee shops and no guy is going to give you his leather jacket to ask you to go steady. No guy is going to ask for your number; instead, he’s going to ask you for your snap chat handle. Dating game has changed now that there are dating apps making it easier to meet someone, to put your face out there for strangers to swipe on, and no place to run. Also the whole one night stand, booty call seems to be more what people want then meeting someone to form some kind of connection with. That’s all anyone wants is to love and be love, to have someone to go on adventures with? Or do you just want someone to meet up and get it done.

I found myself on tinder and bumble; I will have to say I hate them both. I would be swiping left through Tinder so many times for the guy was holding a fish. My friends keep telling me to not be so stubborn; “what’s the harm in going out on a date with the guy?” Let me tell you the harm is having a guy come at you with all lips, forcing them on you like a horror movie. I went on a binge of dating for a while and a number of bad dates I had made me realize exactly what I didn’t want and also the meaning of self-love.

I went on a date with a guy who told me I talk like a 16-year-old. Another guy kept making fun of me, calling it a joke, and constantly touching my back. He kept doing it after I told him I didn’t like being touched. I had a guy end up getting drunk and wanting to go clubbing. And then there was the guy who kept pushing back the hour of time we were meeting up. I wouldn’t think I would be the girl to hide in the bathroom to ring her roommate to call her in 5 minutes to get me out of here, but I was.

And it might not even be a date. How many times did I end up being out and the guy I matched on Tinder wanted to meet up? Here’s my tip, don’t even bother! The guy will turn out to be a real D-horrible, so get your free drink and run.

If first dates weren’t the ‘strike out’ that you needed the second one should be. And ask me how I could even go on a second date, the answer is I’m Minnesota Nice. I went on a first date with a guy who just made everything awkward. He wouldn’t talk. And I didn’t get those butterfly feelings but when he asked me on a second date I said yes. You know that feeling when you just can’t tell someone ‘no’ because you’re afraid of hurting their feelings.

Being on these dating apps, I wonder where conversations have gone–maybe to the smiling poo emoji.  While here I was trying to have a really conversation and the guy sends me sentence of emoji’s like it was Morse code. I had a guy on Tinder talk about how I looked “bang-able.” I don’t even know how to respond!?!  One of the guys, I was ‘talking to’ would every hour tell me what he did then ask me what I was doing, I would tell him. Then hour go by and again. My fingers were angry texting as I told typed him exactly what I said to him earlier. There is risk of creeps out there, you always have to be safe. Which I am, the handsy guy followed me out of the bar with his drink, the bouncers stopped him, while I looked at them giving them “i’m running away from this dude’ waved me off keeping him there. I also have had passive aggressive guys, who have told me they would do anything to be with me.  I run away so fast  from these guys that once they realize, I’m in Jamaica.

Through these  bad dates or bad meetups I learned: to never go on Tinder again, never wait 20 minutes for the guy to show up, and I learned exactly what I don’t want. I don’t want a guy who is going to talk down to me. I don’t want a guy who thinks its alright to wear socks with Nike Flip Flops. And through those I don’t wants I found myself realizing who I was, how I should be treated and what I was worth.  Because no self want of a attention of a guy to be in my life was worth giving up for some passive aggressive, all lips, fish holding, treats you like a joke and their idea of a comment it to say how you look bang able.

We spend so much time searching for the guy, the one, someone to converse with, someone to have late night talks, and any pinterest quote says it all. But maybe it’s not what we need from guys it’s what we need to do for ourselves. Because we might end up meeting a guy who is interesting, can keep up and your attention and is willing to try. These bad dates have taught me that I’m not stubborn I just know what I want. And there is nothing wrong in knowing what you deserve; it is what we call self-love.

 

 

 

Comment below about any of your bad date stories. If you enjoy reading this and these kind of post like,share and let me know. I really went for in this post and really loved writing it. It’s suppose to be funny.