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When Things Take a Turn

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. 

Short Story Series Part I – Ari

I threw my keys on the table and sulked down to the ground. “How is this my life?” I said aloud. After another failed online date I couldn’t believe that at 26, this seemed to be my only option to find a partner, for life.

How terrifying? I thought to myself. Is this really how I wanted to meet my future life partner? Swiping through apps and going on cheap dates with even cheaper people?

Tonight’s date was Nick, a 6’2 dark haired, “entrepreneur.” He thought it would be a good idea to pick the worst Mexican restaurant in New York City, and also thought it would be a good idea for me to “cover this one.” So I picked up the check, ordered a margarita to go, and flagged down the first cab in site.

It was more of a fight or flight response. It wasn’t expected that he would pay for the date, I mean as much as that’s how I believe it should be, I am realist. Guys are going on so many dates they are running out of money to fund their attempts at romance. So to dim the cuteness level from a hot fire because they executed the perfect date, it dwindles down to a slow almost non-existent burn when they want you to cover their meal too.

As I sat on the floor of my one bedroom apartment, I thought, “Well Ari, at least you’re not at crying-on-the-bathroom-floor rock bottom. I was only about a few inches from where my bathroom and kitchen met. The beauty of living in New York City.

I got up off of the ground, and looked in the mirror. My perfect brown curls had fallen, my contour was no longer on fleek, and my eyeliner traveled from my eyes to underneath my eyes, making me resemble the raccoon digging in the garbage outside of my apartment.

I took my standard first date dress off and changed into my favorite oversized pajamas. I poured a glass of my favorite rosé and got into bed. “I can do this” I thought to myself. I plugged my phone into the charger and logged onto my go-to dating app. As I began to delete the app I had a second wind of guilt. What if the next match is my person? What if I’m one date away from the love of my life. I put my phone down and decided to sleep on it. As I began falling alseep I heard my phone go off. It was Nick. The text read, “Ari, I’m really sorry about tonight. I know it could have been better. I picked Mexican because honestly, I thought you would have liked it. Thank you for picking up the tab. Text me if you’re ever bored.”

“Better!” I thought to myself. Better? Maybe a lot better! Then the rest of the message sent shock waves through my head. Apparently entrepreneur was fancy for no job. Apparently the next time he wants to see me is if I am ever bored. Lucky for him, I won’t ever, ever be that bored again.

I turned my read receipts off, and realized I had to be to my 8-5 job in less then 6 hours. I set my phone down, and decided to let my mind rest for a few hours, I wasn’t going to solve all of my deepest, darkest issues and insecurities at 2am after a hot mess of a night.
As much as I dreaded working, my Friday came and went a lot faster then expected. I ran out of the office and into the lively streets of New York on a Friday at 5. I was off to meet my best friend Vivienne for a drink at our favorite upscale bar, Reeva’s. Reeva’s was definitely too pricey for me even on my best pay days but I live by my “Treat Yourself” motto a few more times a month then I should. You’re only 26, single, and drowning in college loans once, right?

I ran up the rainy sidewalk, my 3-year-old Louis Vuitton pumps clicking to a different tune then they did on the way into work. There I saw my best friend Vivi. She waved excitedly and called my name. I grabbed the door and suddenly heard my phone ringing. Shuffling through my purse I grabbed my phone. “Eric?” I thought to myself. Eric is my ex-boyfriend of two years. We’ve only been apart for three months but I hadn’t heard from him since he slammed my apartment door shut, and made the next-door neighbors question my sanity. I shut the door, gave Vivi the “I’ll be right back” wave, and stepped to the side of the building.

“Hello?” My voice cracked.

“Ari? Is that you?” Eric mumbled.

“Yes? You did call me?”

“I miss you. I need to see you, I have some things I need to say. I think I really might have messed some things up.”

“Eric really? On a Friday night you suddenly feel you have messed some things up? I honestly don’t have time for this.” I tried to stay as stern as possible. But I knew that it would be hard. A part of me still loved Eric, but I hated who we made each other.

“I’m really sorry for bothering you Ari. I’ll leave you alone. I just had to tell you that I am sorry and I hope we can be in each other’s lives again one day.”

“I have no literal words Eric. What do you expect me to do with your impromptu drop in on my Friday night? Do you think I’m just supposed to accept everything you say and move on with my night?” Now I am getting aggravated. How dare he drop in on my high-class happy hour like this?

“Well you should be able to handle hearing from me Ari, unless you’re still in love with me? That’s the only reason this would upset you.”

He said it so smugly I wanted to barf. High-class Wall Street wannabes were never my thing, for these reasons mainly.

“You are still the same narcissist you were all the years we were together. Nothing has changed, and don’t tell me you magically had these feelings out of nowhere. You are bored and in need of some kind of validation, don’t put that on me.” Wow, I couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. Where did this backbone come from?

“Alright, this was a huge mistake. Have fun maxing out your last credit card tonight. I’m sure you’re on your way to Reeva’s now for happy hour. I don’t want to intrude on your predictable Friday night more than I already have. Love you, Ari.”

The line went dead. Eric had hung up and I was in disbelief. Our history is long, messed up, and at points it was kind of magical. He was my first love and hearing his voice again really made me shutter. Hearing him say that he loved me made the waterworks start. I slowly put my phone into my purse, wiped away the one tear that was slowly dropping from the corner of my eye, and walked fiercely into Reeva’s. Vivienne had been waiting alone all too long, and I had a night out ahead of me in a city that was made for girls like me. Made for the broken hearted, and beautiful at every corner for those in love. Everyone sees New York a little differently depending on what stage of their life they are in, and for tonight, I needed it to be more than a city, I needed it to show me how to feel alive again. Tonight, I was using this city to show me what it was like to truly be happy again, even if it was temporary happiness.

Why it’s Important to Slow Down

It takes a lot for me to acknowledge that I need to slow down. It’s nearly impossible for me to wrap my head around some days, but I know it’s necessary and needed. Even on days off I wake up and realize all the things I could be doing and spring out of bed in a panic, and the rushing begins. 
Sure, some days this can be a great quality. I can get a lot done in a short period of time but it also stresses me out and causes me to be a version of myself I don’t really love. The stress to get it “all” done causes me to give half of myself to one too many aspects of my life. Instead of taking a moment and realizing it will all get done, i sometimes adopt the thought process that the faster, the better. 

If I haven’t gone to the gym, wrote for my blog, and followed my schedule for that day perfectly you can count on me setting the tone for my day as being stressed. The older I get, the worse it gets, and the more unhealthy it becomes. Why is it that most of us feel like we are never doing enough? If we aren’t being productive and doing it “all” are we really doing anything with our lives? 
People don’t document on social media through pictures and snap stories when they are relaxing or doing nothing with their day, only when they are going to the gym, or brunch, or being super productive. Maybe you woke up to ten Snapchat stories of people at the gym or at work on your day off and the guilt will start to set in but why? Who says the days you were busy they didn’t do absolutely nothing with their day. Our fear of missing out is so real that it draws us in to feel like we are never doing enough, and throws us into a tizzy to make sure we too, are productive. This becomes unhealthy when you push yourself too far and to the point of exhaustion or even a state of anxiousness because you never let your mind stop. 
How do we change our mindset and come back from years of learned unhealthy habits? It’s simple, start small. Start by changing up your day, instead of jumping out of bed and starting your to-do list on your day off, start your day by going and getting coffee with a friend, or doing something that you love to do. As much as it will make you want to crawl out of your skin while you are trying to change up your schedule, remember change is good, and life is short. Life is so short. Too short. Short enough that one day you could wake up and realize you missed out on a lot by never taking a moment for yourself. Or, by never taking a moment to ditch the to-do list and live spontaneously. 

Working hard and wanting your life to be great is important but you have to find your balance. Some days it is easier then others. Start small and before you know it you will find your balance. It’s important to remember our time here is precious and some days are all about getting lost, in the right direction, somewhere beautiful. Ditch the guilt, and the to-do list. 

When Things Don’t Go As Planned

If you are anything like me you are almost always thinking long term about any decision you make throughout the day. It could be the simplest decision that I have to make but my mind will immediately start thinking about how it will affect me long term. I envy people who can make rash decisions and live their lives carefree not worried about how the smallest, or biggest of decisions will affect them. To me, if it won’t benefit me through the long term then I don’t want it.

Whether it is ending or beginning friendships/relationships, making changes in your career, any major life decision you always hope that you will make the right one. You hope that the job you took will be exactly what you thought it would be. You hope that your friends will be with you throughout all stages of your life. But, sometimes life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes you make poor decisions in your career or friendships and relationships that lead you to an unlikely place. When things don’t workout it can shake the world of someone who would rather stub their toe seventeen times in a row then admit that they should have never taken that new job or they should have never let that shady friend stay in their life. The truth is when life doesn’t go how you expected, you gotta roll with it. I know, it makes me want to cringe too.

I cringe when things don’t go as expected or when the day doesn’t go as planned but sometimes when you stray from what you normally would do or from what your life is normally like, you find things you would have never found. Sometimes the best changes are the unexpected ones. Don’t get so stuck in your ways, your comfort zone, or your routine, that you miss out on the best parts of life.

When you make the wrong decision when it comes to choosing friends, significant others, jobs, etc., don’t panic. Learn the lessons that come with life changes that don’t work out. Then take it with you as you move on. Their will always be another friend, another significant other, and another job that will welcome you with open arms. Don’t stay stuck. Take the lessons you were sent to those opportunities to learn, and move right along.

Quote of the Day! – Wednesday 2/8

“Let people do what they need to do to make them happy. Mind your own business and do what you need to do to be happy.”

The secret to life is as simple as that!

Xo Mella

Happy 1st Birthday Xo Mella!

Today marks one year of Xo Mella being live on the internet. Cheers!

August of 2015 is when I began writing for an online platform but NEVER sharing it. My abilities were there but my confidence was most certainly not. So, one cold night in January of 2016, the 17th of January to be exact, I told my sister it was time. Time for what you may ask? To bring my writing to light. I figured maybe my writing could so some good for someone, somewhere. I knew I wanted to create positive change and I figured this was the only way I knew how. So I began writing things I was going through, things I had been through, and anything else I felt the need to over share about. To my amazement some people began reading and finding solace in knowing they weren’t the only ones going through a certain situation. The feeling of knowing my writing was resonating with others was amazing, and it made all of my fears and reservations of putting myself out there, and being painfully transparent seem like it was a good chance to have taken.

I wrote everyday in the beginning. While finishing my last semester of college I took Xo Mella to another level and made it a podcast too which is featured on iTunes. The podcast was fun while in college but was put to the side when I became a contributing editor for the Odyssey. Maybe we will bring it back this year…(let me know what you think.)

The messages I have gotten on Facebook from people who found Xo Mella through me or from following the other platforms I wrote for was overwhelming! People want to see positive posts on the internet, they just very often can’t find them. When given the opportunity to do better, people usually will.

It has been an exciting year. I am very thankful to everyone who has shared my posts and supported my journey along the way! It is important to keep the goal in mind and that simply is to make everyone feel even a little less alone in whatever they may be going through, and a little more hopeful about what has yet to be.

Here is to another exciting year. Here is to a new look that Xo Mella will be debuting within the next week, and hopefully more exciting announcements about the future of this dream I have.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Xo Mella




22. Coffee. Music. Running. Shopping. Blogging. Wine. & Hoarding motivational quotes.

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