As I sit down and write this I am at a completely different place than I was in 2016 when I wrote my first post for Xo Mella Blog. I remember it was an opinion piece on toxic friendships and relationships. I remember sharing it to Facebook and thinking…people are going to think I’m crazy. To my surprise it was well received. I wrote opinion pieces on life and relationships everyday for almost a year, and then I felt less inclined to vent on the internet every day, so I took some time off.
I went on and decided to step back from the blog until I could decide what I wanted it to be. I knew it needed some rebranding but I was out of ideas. I put my trust in myself and knew that when the time came, I would find my spark again, and go in the direction I was meant to.
I eventually started on the blogging path once again, focusing mostly on beauty and lifestyle blogging. I got away from writing which I know I still to this day need to make more time for. It feels great to sit down and write this.
So back to the anniversary of Xo Mella. My blog has changed as I have changed over the years. I went from a single, venting, sometimes ranting, twenty one year old, to a now an engaged, twenty three year old, dog mother of two who doesn’t have crazy stories anymore but does have YouTube videos about hair extensions, and beauty hacks. Who would have thought my life would change like that? Not me!
I am thankful everyday that I took a leap of faith and decided that no matter how it turned out, or what if turned into that I would be proud of the Blog I had created. I rest easy at night knowing that no matter what, I know I tried.
I need to thank some important players. My sister Melissa is the graphic artist behind it all. Xo Mella Blog would not have been possible had she not given me the domain and graphics.
Also, My fiancé who has believed in my abilities to make my blog successful more than I have on some days. Who also surprised me with the camera and the set up that would give Xo Mella Blog a YouTube channel. Thank you Marco for never being embarrassed of my shenanigans and actually thinking I have some sort of talent behind it all.
Thank you to everyone who has supported and followed my journey over the past two years. I encourage any of you who have a dream in your heart to pursue it despite what people might think. If I can give any advice from what I have learned on this journey, it would be that you were given a dream no matter how little or big it may seem, for a reason. Being completely honest, I used to hate that I didn’t want to follow a path that would lead me to a sensible job. I used to dislike the fact that I was creative and different. But then I stopped that nonsense. I embraced the parts of me I suppressed for many years, and my life changed. Xo Mella Blog was just a thought in my head for a very long time. Then one day it was a blog, then it was a podcast on iTunes, and then it was a YouTube channel. Things change, when you decide you’re not changing the best parts of you. I am so happy I didn’t. Stay true to yourself, and the rest will follow.
And as always… XO MELLA BLOG💋
A couple of nights ago I was watching the news and one of the anchors said “Why would a victim wait this long to come forward? Doesn’t it seem like opportune timing?” This is the rhetoric we are hearing everyday.
The media has been flooded with new scandal after new scandal lately. Every time you turn around a different famous face is now at the center of a full-fledged sexual assault/harassment accusation. One victim comes forward, then another, and before you know it, many famous faces you have looked up to are now monsters in your eyes.
I was blown away by the words of this news anchor. Mind you, there have been people who have made false accusations from time to time, but you can’t let that discredit the stories of true victims. While people may seem more jaded these days, you can’t throw everyone with a story to tell, into the fire.
My question is, why is timing even a question?
If you survived a fire five years ago does it still make you a survivor of a fire today? Yes. If you were sexually assaulted years ago, does it still make you someone who experienced that today? YES. Regardless of the time that has passed and the reasons for not speaking about it, it doesn’t change the fact that, that is now apart of your story.
Why would a victim wait years and years to come forward? I’m no genius but, it doesn’t take one to know there are reasons victims sometimes don’t speak up. I am also no psychologist, but it also doesn’t take one of those to know that sometimes trauma doesn’t show itself right away. People don’t always realize how affected they are by a traumatic incident until they go to do something and pause, out of fear it could lead them back into an uncontrollable situation.
Other reasons? Maybe they are embarrassed? Maybe they have lived with the shame for years. Maybe it’s become a part of who they are. It’s become a normal part of their day. They wake up, they go to work, and they deal. As unfortunate as that sounds, sometimes that’s the reality that many people face.
There are many reasons why a victim wouldn’t speak up. Too many to list. The truth of the matter is sometimes this world is a scary place. Sometimes it takes one brave person in your city, school, or someone famous to state the facts of something that has happened to them. That starts a chain reaction because now famous people, and small town people know that they aren’t alone, and that what happened to them was wrong.
We live in a different world today. We live in a world that is less “tolerant” of bad behavior. This seems to be shocking and new to some, but it is long overdue. Bad behavior fifty years ago would still be considered bad behavior today.
You don’t have to be a victim, or a genius to know why someone who has ever felt violated or victimized wouldn’t speak up. Different people deal with things differently. It is not your job to judge the circumstances, the time passed, or the story.
Just my thoughts.
XO MELLA BLOG
It is an exciting time to be be engaged, and to be doing all the things engaged couples do. I have written about our engagement party, now I am writing about our engagement photos!
First, you have to decide who you are as a couple. Me and my fiancé are not very serious people, we are laughing all the time. We knew we wouldn’t be able to be very serious or take typical engagement photos. We knew our dog had to be involved, so like every other engaged couple, we ordered a sign for our fur baby, announcing our wedding date.
I began searching Amazon for a reliable sign maker that specializes in dog signs! I found a company called Ritzy Rose. The personalizing of the sign was painless! I simply left our names, wedding date, and what color font, & string I wanted, and they made it happen! It was delivered on time and I was incredibly impressed by the quality of the sign.
Like I said, we are always laughing…
I knew the best way to keep it simple is to stick with solid colors. Also, try to keep in mind the color of your surroundings. Being in nature I knew earth tones would be best. Also, try to stay in the same color scheme as your fiancé, but try not to be too matchy-matchy.
I hope these tips helped! Please let me know any tips/tricks that you have learned a long the way and let me know what else you would like to see in Xo Mella Weddings.
I’ve been meaning to write this blog post…
As an avid blogger I try to share my experiences because they are what I know best. As I try not to over share, it is important that I let you all in on some parts of my life.
What inspired this post? A few times now I have been asked about my engagement and how we met, and every once in a while I add in that yes, my future husband, was also my first boyfriend. *gasp*
The reaction has always been positive. People comment on how sweet and old fashioned that is, and that it gives them hope. It makes my heart happy when people say something I have said has given them hope, as a blogger I have tried many times through my writing to do just that, give people hope.
If you’re reading this and you didn’t marry your first love, don’t feel as if you aren’t “old fashioned” or that your love story won’t seem sweet to others, because it will. People love, love. People just sometimes forget to know what is love, and what isn’t. People forget what is worth settling down for, and what is just settling.
It was a couple weeks after my 22nd birthday when my now fiancé asked me to be his girlfriend. It was 11 months later when he asked me to be his wife. The road to finding my fiancé wasn’t as sweet and hopeful as my now life is though.
I had a feeling I would have one boyfriend and that would be it. Mainly because I was picky and a complete “old soul.” So I knew any guy that I would agree to seriously date, would have to be someone I could see myself with long term.
I am so happy I waited all those years and didn’t listen to people who called me picky, or that I would never find the perfect person. I wasn’t looking for the perfect person, I was looking for someone perfect for me. I knew he was out there, I had complete faith, I just hadn’t met him yet. I knew this all along.
While the road to my fiancé was a long and winding one, I would travel it again and again, as cliché as that may sound. It made me who I am now, and I wouldn’t appreciate someone had I not known what it was like to not have someone for so long.
The point of all of this is, 22 years is a long time, but many people wait much longer and deal with much more. You cannot become bitter, you cannot become hopeless, because it will not happen if you don’t appreciate what you currently have. Life gives you what you need when you need it. It took me 22 years to find out who I was before I could meet my future husband. For some people it takes less, and for some people it takes more.
You have to ask yourself what you want out of your life? Also, what reasons do you want it? Lastly, are you seriously ready for it?
It is easy to think of all the reasons you want certain things for your life but you have to make sure that the reality is also what you want, and what you are ready for.
If you haven’t met “the one” ask yourself if it would make sense for where your life is right now. Ask yourself if you are seriously ready for “better and for worse.” These days, not many people ask those kind of questions.
Don’t fall in love with the idea of long term commitment and major milestones. Fall in love with your life for what it is right now and yourself for who you are right now. Then ask yourself if you could fall in love with another person for who they are right now, whole heartedly and who they might be 10, 20, 50 years from now, no matter what.
It is easy for me to write this now that I am outside of the “will it ever happen for me” type of thinking but I haven’t forgotten what that feels like. I know it all too well. I also know all too well, that it will happen for you, at a time and a speed you will have to accept. It might not be tomorrow, but when it does happen there won’t be any looking back. Don’t make yourself look back and wish you had just been happy and content then, because to your disbelief it did happen for you.
XO MELLA BLOG💋
I struggle on a daily basis to be content with life being ever-changing and the fact that most things are out of my control. I live a beautiful life, but some daysI let my feelings of not being where I want to be in my career get me down.
I graduated college May of 2016, I was 21 years old, and I had no idea what I wanted to do. As I sit here a year and a half out of college, STILL not using my degree, it is very easy for me to become disappointed with that aspect of my life. You can go on all the job interviews, pull yourself in 17 different directions trying to figure it all out, but if it’s not your time, it’s not your time. That’s just the cold hard truth.
Feeling lost in your early 20’s can feel second nature for some. You might feel that certain aspects of your life aren’t where you thought they would be, but there’s really only one way to deal with what feels like disappointment in yourself. I mean I have dealt with it for the past year and half, so I’m starting to do better than I was.
It’s all about perspective. What’s the one thing you can control? Your attitude and YOUR perspective. Keep in mind what parts of your life are amazing, and try to muffle your thoughts about what leaves you feeling disappointed or feeling less than. You can’t let what you can’t control leaving you feeling bitter, that won’t do anyone any good.
You CAN let go of your expectations. I remember how down and out I would get after disappointment, after disappointment when it came to everyone before my now fiancé. I remember feeling that annoying nagging feeling that it would never work out. I would get disappointed over things I really didn’t even want. I would stress myself out trying to make things work, that just weren’t going to. Then one day, my own life surprised me, and things did work out. All of a sudden it made perfect sense as to why nothing ever worked out before, and I felt relieved but like I wish I could have gone back and told myself that it was all going to be okay. I would have tried to enjoy that part of my life. But you live and you learn.
No part of your life is ever going to be perfect. As I plan a wedding and embark on experiences I have never have before, I find myself feeling badly about not being where I want to be when it comes to work.
I am extra transparent on the internet in hopes that some other twenty, thirty, forty, sixty-something, might get just the slightest bit of clarity.
When it’s your time, it’s your time. You might think back and wish that you would have just let things go and not been so stressed out all of the time, whatever the issue is. If someone would have told me I would be engaged at 23, 2 years ago I would have laughed.
I would hate to look back and think that I wasted days, months, years, feeling less than because of things outside of my control. I would hate for you to do the same. The only way to stop that from happening, or living your life like that longer, is changed behavior.
Think about what you are grateful for, think about what you thought would never work out, but did. Why couldn’t it happen again? It could be tomorrow, next month, or next year, but it will work out, and you will wish you hadn’t worried so much about what you cannot control.
Everybody has there day in the sun. And when it comes, all the struggle will make it that much better.
XO MELLA BLOG💋
I always try to keep my blog pretty positive, upbeat, and always trying to see the best side of things. That doesn’t mean that it can’t touch on things that happen in the world, many things that we can’t understand. That is one way to try to keep unity. Use your words to show others, who may be feeling heartbroken when tragedy occurs, that it’s okay, to not be okay.
I woke up in the middle of the night to the news, of the tragedy that occurred in Vegas. People were dead, people were injured, and I was sitting there, like millions of other people, staring at a screen saying, “how could this happen again?”
As humans we immediately want to know, why? But the truth is no matter what the “why” is, it won’t give us any sense of comfort. There is no comfort in knowing that these types of senseless acts of terror can occur.
Where can we find comfort? In knowing there are people who have hearts like ours when tragedy strikes. There will always be helpers. One of my all time favorite quotes to look to is one by Mr. Rogers. He said, “When I was a boy and would see scary things on the news I would look to my mom and she would say, ‘look for the helpers. You will always find people helping.”
You can never make sense of these horrific tragedies, we aren’t supposed to be able to. Anyone with a heart can’t make sense of these types of acts. So step one would be to stop trying to make sense of things that won’t ever make sense. Spending your time trying to make sense of horrific acts will be endless. Spending your time praying, spending your time loving those around you, or spending your time trying to make the world around you better despite what’s going on, will do your soul and the world around you, good.
Step number two? In the words of Mr. Rogers, look for the helpers. If you can’t see the helpers, then be a helper. Listen to the stories of people risking there lives to save the lives of strangers. Look to find any type of hope. Listen to the good, and when you can’t see the good, be the good.
It’s a simple message but it rings so true. Sometimes reiterating a message that is simple but comforting can ease at least the littlest bit of worry. I am a writer, a blogger, and someone who hopes that sharing your sorrow, your disbelief, and your words, can bring comfort in times where it is few and far between.
Prayers for Vegas.🙏🏼
Xo Mella Blog 💋
When I started seriously writing during my junior year of college, I capitalized off of telling stories about what I had been through, and the uncertainty of my future. Many scorned girls followed my path as I had some tales to tell, that were relatable. When I started dating my now fiancé, I felt that it wasn’t right to continue to write about what I had been through, while it was relatable and really what many people who followed my writing liked, I felt the need to respect him. While he didn’t care what I wrote about, I knew that I needed to turn a new leaf, and somewhat rebrand Xo Mella Blog.
Writing became harder because I didn’t want to write about the happy things because a lot of people don’t want to hear about that. I went into major writers block…MAJOR.
Having to rebrand yourself, turn a new page, and having to finally let go of the past, teaches many lessons that some aren’t prepared for. If there is one thing I have learned from a major hiatus from writing, it would be to trust the journey you’re on, but before you can trust anything, you have to let go of what used to be. I have written at least ten million (exaggeration) thought pieces on letting go (all on XoMella.com & Xo Mella Blog Pinterest).
I prayed for years and years for change. I always knew I wanted a life for myself bigger than just caring about myself, and I got just that.
I feel grateful every single day. Most days I don’t feel I deserve the good things that have come my way in the past couple of years. It’s easy to lose sight of your own struggle. The important thing to keep in mind is that life changes every single day. Most, if not all of us have had at least one or for some, many moments where it felt like our whole world got ripped out from underneath our feet. Sometimes you get so far away from that, that you get caught up in petty things, or pointless worry in effort to try to make yourself feel something other than happiness. That’s when you need to stop.
Remember the day you received the worst news ever? When you felt like maybe the words that came out of someone else’s mouth knocked the wind out of you? You realized how much you had taken for granted. Maybe you started to become a little more grateful for the little things. Maybe you started appreciating things you had lost sight of.
You did your time, paid your dues, had many sleepless nights, prayed, a lot. This could have been months, or years for some. Your life starts finally changing, and you realize how happy you are, and how terrifying it can be to really get what you prayed for.
In these times don’t worry, don’t let anxiety creep in, don’t lose sight of the dues you paid to get here. You didn’t come this far to let the good parts of life scare you, when you’ve not been scared yet, after all you have been through.
When you feel undeserving, or like you will never cross the bridge of finally letting go of all of the bad, remember one thing. You’ve had some sleepless nights, where the sun always came up the next day. The world didn’t stop turning because you had a bad day or felt fearful of something. Everyone has times where they can’t get out of their own head. Everyone has felt less then. That’s a part of it all. It’s just about knowing how much is just apart of living life, and how much is too much.
You will have your days in the sun, and you will have days that you’re not sure why all of it is happening. All of it means you are trying, and all of it means you are human. Be easy on yourself.
XO MELLA BLOG 💋
22. Coffee. Music. Running. Shopping. Blogging. Wine. & Hoarding motivational quotes.