Category Archives: This Week

8 Shows to Binge this Summer

It’s summer time! It feels so good to finally have some free time, right? Kayaking, cookouts, camping are waiting for us in summer. But some days are rainy and getting outside is next to impossible. So here we are, stuck inside with a stack of dishes we just haven’t gotten around to yet and looking for an excuse anywhere to continue putting off the world’s tallest dish mountain.

It’s a good thing that you came here because I have the perfect excuse for you- TV shows. I’ve created a list of shows to watch that are my personal favorites. I’ve watched every one of these shows in their entirety (some two or three times) and each one is fantastic in their own way. Whether they make me laugh until I cry or contemplate my existence, each fulfills their original purpose. Some of these are really popular shows and others are some you may never have heard of before. Either way, give them a chance, watch them and let me know what you think of them in the comments below.

And finally, in no particular  order, 8 shows to binge watch this summer:

Reign

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Need some serious drama in your life and maybe just a touch of historical fiction? Reign is about a young Scottish queen, Mary Queen of Scots, and her battle to save her country in her early queen-hood. Filled with drama, backstabbing, political moves, love triangles and a little bit of magic, this show has a bit of everything to satisfy any viewer. Long may she reign.

Young and Hungry

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Alright, I admit, when I first saw the commercials for this show, I thought it was going to be really dumb. It’s common knowledge that Freeform (formally called ABC family) is pretty hit or miss for good TV shows, and even then, it usually contains nothing but fluff. With Young and Hungry, it’s exactly that, but in the best of ways.  I can put this show on in the background and get other work done or put my full attention towards it. Young and Hungry follows young culinary blogger, Gabi Diamond, as she works her way to become the next Julia Child. With each episode being no more than 30 minutes long, it’s an easy to watch show that can lift your spirits in a matter of minutes.

John Mulaney New in Town

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This one isn’t a TV show but it deserved a mention. John Mulaney is a comedian who comments on his early life and the insane life moments he’s come across thus far. If you need some gut wrenching laughs in your life, this is the one to watch. And because it’s only an hour long, it won’t take up your entire day if you have other things to do.

New Girl

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Jess is the new girl on the block. After a nasty breakup with her boyfriend, she moves in with three random strangers who all happen to be men. With her eccentric personality, she tries to find how she fits in this strange and new group of people. New Girl is a light hearted sitcom with six seasons of laughter, tears, confusion and entertaining content.

Sherlock

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Everyone knows about Sherlock Holmes but you’ve never seen him like this. BBC reinvented Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s vision by bring Watson, Sherlock and their cases into the 21st century. Tension? Mystery? Humor? I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t watch a whole season in a day.

NCIS

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Would a list of good TV shows to watch in the summer be complete without NCIS? NCIS is an American crime series that follows Special Agent Gibbs and his team as they solve crime after crime. With nearly 350 episodes to watch, it’s hard to run out of content with this one.

Your Lie in April

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Before you say anything, let me get this out of the way: ANIME IS NOT JUST FOR CHILDREN. If you really believe that pile of nonsense, go watch the first episode of Attack on Titan. That will change your mind. Or Your Lie in April. Anyways, Your Lie in April is a one season anime that follows a child musical prodigy after he retired for personal reasons. Then, a violinist girl forces him to be her accompanist and now he has to get back up on the stage and face his biggest fears. If you want a show that is going to give you the serious feels every time you watch it, Your Lie in April is perfect for you! I cried many, MANY times while watching it, and there’s only 13 episodes, each about 25 minutes in length.

Death Parade

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Do you want to contemplate your entire existence? Rather, do you want to contemplate what happens to you when you die? Well, step into the world of Death Parade and have a seat at Quindecim bar. This series spawned from a short film called Death Billiards. It follows Decim, a bartender who determines what will happen with the souls of the people who come into his bar. Will they be reincarnated or cast into the void? This is another fantastic anime with so many hidden gems and will leave you thinking long after you turn off your TV.

 

There are plenty more TV shows out there, but these ones are some of my current favorites that I think more people need to see. Do you have a favorite TV series you think I should watch? Tell me about them in the comments!

 

Unitl Next Time,

Dana Qualy

My Bullet Journal

I was a procrastination queen for years. No matter what I did, I would put everything off until the last minute. I’d do it eventually and it would be completed on time and done well, but it would take forever. Why was I like this? I don’t know. Maybe because I don’t like being forced to do things or because I’d rather read a book than finish that 10 page paper. The answer still remains unclear. But then my sister introduced me to this thing called “the bullet journal” a few months back. At first I thought it was kind of dumb. Why not get a planner? Why not put it in your phone? Why not do literally anything but this journal? It will take forever to set up and that will just trigger my procrastination. But Layne used her big sister powers and pressured me to make one until I caved.

I owe Layne an apology. Just a second:

Layne, I’m sorry. You were right. Yes, write that one down for the history books. I admit that you were completely right about the bullet journal. It is amazing.

Bullet journal 3

Okay I’m back. OH MY GOD. I am obsessed. I have never been so organized and prepared in my life. For those that don’t know what the bullet journal is, it’s an organization system designed so you can track any and all of your latest projects and events. Basically, the bullet journal consists of four major components: Index, the Future Log (or the Year in Review), the Monthly Log, and the Daily Log. These four components come together so you can maintain every single aspect of your life all in one journal and not in multiple planners or notebooks. You can see more about it in this video that the creator of the bullet journal made here.

I have kept up with mine and I can’t stop. Every morning I sit down for breakfast and plan my day using the bullet journal. I have trackers for assignments, bills and other miscellaneous goals. The best part about this system is I have complete control over how I organize it. I can use whatever notebook, designs and concepts I want. I can make it as decorative or as simple as I want it to be.

Bullet Journal2

Yes, I’ll admit it. It does take some time to set up, but I’m proud of it and I want to keep up with it! I get my tasks done with less stress and I have been accomplishing my goals at a steady rate instead of the night before. My favorite parts of my bullet journal are my trackers and future log. The trackers provide a lot of structure and give a sense of accomplishment when I finish a project. The future log allows me to put all of my future dates in one place so I don’t double book myself.

If you’re nervous about starting a bullet journal because you don’t know where to start, there’s also a whole community of people who bullet journal where you can share ideas so you literally can’t run out of ideas! All you have to do is type in “bullet journal” to your google search, pinterest, facebook, instagram or pretty much any other social media site out there. I’ve made a Pinterest board that is slowly growing full of Bullet Journal pins if you want to check it out: https://www.pinterest.com/mybrightcorner/bullet-journal/. There’s also a website that the founder created to help beginners start their journals and seasoned journalers keep themselves in check with it.

So if you see me in person and we get onto the subject of bullet journals? I will fawn over mine like a grandma does to their grandchild at Christmas. And I’m just not sorry about it. 🙂

Basically what I’m saying is y’all need a bullet journal in your lives. What do you use to plan out your lives? Are you bullet journal obsessed like me or do you have another approach? Let me know in the comments!

 

Until Next Time,

Dana Qualy

Hometown Treasures

Sometimes, going home is hard. You’re leaving friends, jobs, and a place that you just got settled into. But if there’s anything good about going home? It’s that you know that place like the back of your hand and all of the little secrets that your hometown holds. The local coffee shop with the best pastries, the clothing store that always has all of its prices at 70% off, a bead shop with the friendliest owners. For me, it’s a bookstore.

I love books. I love bookstores. I love them so much that I could spend an eternity in one and it still wouldn’t be enough time. I love the atmosphere, the book smell and getting to read new stories I’ve never knew existed. My favorite bookstore is a little gem in Baraboo, WI called the Village Booksmith. If I could, I would gladly give them all of my money. It’s unfortunate that I do have bills to pay so I guess I won’t be giving them ALL of my money.

The Village Booksmith is a bookstore in Baraboo, WI that sells new, old and rare books for a great price. A popular book that typically sells for $20-$25 could sell as low as $5 at the Village Booksmith. Plus, they have a great variety of books to offer: history, science fiction, gardening, architecture, biographies, foreign language, books for kids, etc. They have any book you could possibly imagine. I even saw some old Vietnam military manuals once. And if they don’t have a specific book you’re looking for? They will help you locate in online and get it shipped right to your door. They’re book wizards I swear.

THEY EVEN HAVE A WHOLE THEATRE SECTION.

For you non- Thespians, let me explain a thing or two about finding a theatre section that sells theatre texts for reasonable prices. To find a bookstore that has a theatre section that has more than Shakespeare in it and contains more than a shelf of dusty Ibsen scripts is like finding a unicorn in your backyard. In other words, it’s nearly impossible.

But the Village Booksmith has done it! They have created a unicorn in their store for the theatre nerds. Their theatre section is a whole 8-shelf bookshelf filled with books on every genre of the theatre: scripts, theatre history, costume design, directing, makeup design, scene design, prop design, sound design, acting, stage management. And scripts. Lots and lots of scripts! Needless to say, it’s my favorite spot in the whole store. The last time I was there, I purchased about 10 theatre books that would normally run for $400-$450 for about $80. It was such a good deal I almost felt bad. Almost.

So if you’re in the Baraboo, WI area, be sure to drop by the Village Booksmith. You’re sure to find a treasure or two in there. I know that when I’m back in my hometown, the Village Booksmith will be the first place to visit (even before my parents)!

 

Until Next Time,

Dana Qualy

Thoughts on Self-Appreciation

The other day I was talking to one of my best friends about my final chemotherapy session. I messaged her this:

“I need to be selfish for like 32 seconds and then I promise I’ll get off my ego box and I’ll put it back where it belongs but like… in 9 days I’ll be done with my last chemo session. Possibly ever (at least for a very VERY long time). How cool is that?! And I did that! That was me! I’m so absurdly excited for so many random things:

Plants in the house, spicy burritos, swimming, seeing people without worrying about if they’re sick, SHAVING (believe it or not, I am jacked for the first time I get to shave my legs after this), NOSE HAIRS (oh my god nose hairs how I’ve missed you). I’m excited for the first person I meet when all my hair and eyebrows grows back and they didn’t know I had cancer at all. I’m excited that I’m going to get to help other people. I’m excited to sit in a classroom. I’m excited to pet all the dogs. I’m excited that every day is going to be like Christmas from now on. I’m excited to celebrate my birthday. I used to HATE celebrating my birthday, but you know what? People are gifts. I’m a gift. You’re a gift. Birthdays are the time to super duper extra appreciate that gift. And you know what? I appreciate my own existence on this earth.”

Yes, with the exception of the removal of a few expletives, I said exactly this, poor wording and all. And after I was done sending it, I felt guilty for saying that I was going to celebrate myself more. I felt narcissistic and selfish. Then it hit me: that is so messed up that I can’t enjoy my existence for a half a second without feeling like an egotistical prick.

My whole life is filled with wanting to help others and be a better person overall of the sake of others. So this moment that I focused on myself felt so… wrong. So wrong in fact that even talking about myself in a positive light with one of my best friends felt disgusting. And THAT is incredibly twisted.

 

So I have a question for everyone who is reading this: Why is it considered shameful to appreciate your own existence?

Now hear me out. I’m not talking about self love here. Yes, it’s important to love yourself inside and out and to take care of yourself and all that jazz, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m also not talking about being comfortable being alone with yourself and being okay with being alone. I’m talking about a real appreciation for yourself. Still not understanding?

Let’s try an example: Imagine your favorite person. This person is someone that you love more than anyone else and you don’t know what you’d do if you didn’t have them in your life. Do you have a visual of them yet? I’ll give you a moment to conjure an image of them in your mind’s eye.

Why do you love this person so much? Is knowing that they’re out there in the world living and breathing reason enough to love them the way you do? Do you appreciate that they exist on this earth and exist in your life? Do you love the way that they are simply themselves?  

 

Why don’t you feel this way about yourself?

Before you blow off that last question, take a second to really think about your answer to the question. Do you really, genuinely appreciate the human you are? Do you love that you’re a person with earth under your feet and sun on your skin and that you take up space on this earth? Do you ever have a moment in your life when you love exactly who you are and don’t want to change something about yourself?

Because if I’m being perfectly honest with myself, I don’t appreciate myself that way.  I don’t appreciate myself that way even though that’s how I appreciate my loved ones and almost anyone who crosses my path. I don’t value my time, my person or what I’ve contributed to the world thus far in life. I want to change that. Unfortunately it took cancer for me to want to change that or even figure out that I didn’t appreciate myself in the first place.

Saying I’m going to appreciate myself more is great, but doing it is another thing. Here’s a few ways that I want to appreciate myself more:

 

Be Mindful

This is the large, overarching way that I want to appreciate myself more. I am my biggest criticizer and I can be very mean to myself. So when I get into a rut of being hard on myself, I want to be aware of it so I can actively change my mindset on how I treat myself.

 

Stop Bashing Myself

Critiquing is great. Ridiculing is not. I am a person. I make mistakes. Own up to the mistake, learn from it and move forward. (Also complimenting myself every once in a while wouldn’t hurt either)

 

I’m Not Going to Change

Wanting to improve in certain areas of my life is a good thing, but completely changing the foundation of who I am is not. I am me. My friends and family love me for who I am and I should too. So I’m going be uncompromisingly me.
Don’t make my mistake. Please don’t wait for some life threatening event for you to start appreciating yourself. You are incredible and deserve to be celebrated. You deserve to celebrate you.

 

Until next time,
Dana

A Creative Explosion!

Hello everyone! It has certainly been a LONG while (sorry about that). I swear I’m still around. I just became extremely sidetracked and… unmotivated. By not blogging for a month, I learned a two critically important concepts:

Explosions only last a moment.

Like the title says, I went through a creative explosion at the start of the new year. I made a blog, sketched all the time and even started writing a script. I kept producing work at a fast rate. However, explosions only last a moment before they fizzle out.

That’s what I did.

I produced lots of content for a while and then… I didn’t want to anymore. I thought I would take a short break for a week. But weeks turned into a whole month of not wanting to create anything. It’s not that I lacked ideas, I didn’t want to sit in front of the computer and write it out or sketch in a notepad or anything else that was creative. Being creative became a not fun thing which isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

I’m back now, but I definitely won’t be writing as much as I did when I first started. I’d rather burn steadily that fizzle out. I plan on writing regularly but it won’t be as frequent. This is supposed to be a fun experience for both you and me! Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

I overloaded.

This blog has a lot of tabs and potential content sections. But that’s all they are: POTENTIAL content sections. I realize now that if I were to keep My Bright Corner the way  it is and put content in each of the sections on a regular basis, I would either need to dedicate 40+ hours to MBC or get a team of people to generate content for the site. I don’t have either of those things nor do I want that.

With that being said, MBC is downsizing a little bit. I’m still going to have plenty of puppy photos and happy facts, but the writing portions of MBC will be changing so it’s more manageable for me.

 

In short, I’m sorry for disappearing. I’m back for good this time and ready to go, just had to recharge the brain for a bit before coming back to the brightest corner I’ve found on the internet. I have plenty of new stories and lots of good news to share with all of you. Stay tuned!

 

Until next time,

Dana

How to Stay Motivated When You’d Rather Do Nothing

I don’t know if it’s the winter weather or maybe my lack of a schedule, but I have no motivation to do anything! Do you ever feel this way? My productivity level is nonexistent. I haven’t written anything, gone anywhere or done anything in days. Days. I haven’t even watched Netflix. Mind you, doing nothing can be beneficial. However, it’s not good when you do it multiple days in a row and are slowly becoming one with the blankets, never to see the light of day again.

If you’re also feeling this way, I’ve created a list of tips and tricks to help us both get back on track. Hopefully something on this list will work and fast. Stay tuned.

1) Plan it Out

A written list of all the things you have to do is a double edged sword. While it is great to have everything written down so you can cross it off as you accomplish task after task, the size of the initial list can be paralyzing especially if you have a lot to do. Something that I like to do when I make my to do list is to fold the paper in half. On one side, create the big, scary to do list that has everything on it in no particular order. Then on the other side of the paper, section it off into days (or hours depending on how much time you have) and separate the tasks into those days. That way, you don’t have to do everything all at once and the list becomes more manageable.

2) Have a Clean Space

The more disorganized I am, the less productive I am. Because there are dishes in my sink and clothes on my floor as I’m writing this, my need to write this article is dwindling by the second. Trust me, I know that the correlation between my dishes and my writing is zero, but that does not stop my brain from going, “You have dirty dishes?! You can’t possibly write because there’s a mess in your apartment and therefore your thoughts will also be messy!” And then I stop writing.

So go clean up and do those petty tasks first. If your work space is clean and organized, you’ll probably have an easier time getting your work done. Plus, it’s a productive procrastination tool: you’re still getting small tasks done on your list while avoiding the larger, more intimidating ones until you have the courage to face them.

3) Clean Yourself Up

Yes, I can see those clothes you’ve been wearing for the last three days. If you go clean up, you’ll feel better and smell nicer. You’ll probably be more productive too. Just a thought.

4) Work in Short Increments

So now your living space is clean, you’re clean and your to do list is ready. It’s time to really sit down and work. You know that phrase “work smarter, not harder?” Well, one way to work smarter is by working in short bursts. How short? Well, no less than 15 minutes but no more than 45. Then try to take a 10-15 minute break after each work session. The time limitations are up to you, really. The longer you work, the longer your break should be.

I’m a big fan of working in 20 minute increments with a 5 minute break in between. It’s just a long enough period of time for me to make some serious progress on my work but short enough that I’m not exhausting myself either. Again, every person is different, so make sure your set your time constraints to what works best for you.

5) Acknowledge Your Progress

Did you get all of your work done? Congrats! You did amazing! We are all very proud and you should be too.

If you’re like me, maybe you didn’t get as far in your to do list as you had planned today, but you did do something and that’s awesome too! Especially since a few hours ago there was nothing crossed off your task list and your living space was a disaster. Be proud of the work that you did get done today and start again tomorrow. No worries.

6) Reward Yourself

If you got some of your work done, a little reward. If you got all of your work done, a bigger reward. You earned it. Enjoy it!

 

I hope this list helped you as much as it helped me. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go do my laundry and clean my dishes so I can continue working! I hope your day will be as productive as mine!

 

Until next time,

Dana

 

 

I Never Knew…

 

(DISCLAIMER: This is my experience with chemo side effects and is not the same for all who undergo treatment)

I never knew that I wanted to be tired. I wanted to feel that drag in my step after pulling an all nighter working on homework. I wanted to feel the pull in my eyelids as I chugged a coffee and trudged to my morning class. I am a night owl and I always have been. I thrive in the evenings and late at night when my mind can wander and expand on its own accord. I could spend hours working on one project or another and never lose steam until the sun rose. Once I completed that all nighter my second favorite activity was coming: dreaming. I love to dream. To know that my subconscious is still trying to surprise me around every corner of my own mind is an incredible thing. And when I wake, I will still be tired but satisfied and ready to go. That sensation of tired meant that I worked hard and I accomplished my goals I set out for myself. That sensation meant that I would get to sleep really well the next night because I earned that sleep.

I never knew that I was using the word “tired” wrong. No. Not wrong. Too lightly. I never knew that there was a spectrum of tired. There’s the tired that you want and then there’s a tired that exists that you can’t control. It is so extreme on the spectrum that it hangs precariously off the edge of the tired scale. Any little puff of air will push it right over. This is how I feel every other week. Uncontrollable exhaustion. I never knew that there should be a new word invented that is stronger than “fatigue” or “exhaustion.” Exhaustion is not strong enough to describe the sensation of needing to sleep after chemo (or I assume any other medical treatment). The sleep after chemo is empty for several days. There are no dreams or knowledge of time passing (even though you’ve been out for almost 19 hours). You can’t focus. You’re unmotivated. Your body is weighted down so heavily you’re unsure if you will ever leave your bed again. Being awake for more than a couple hours is a challenge. I never knew how badly I wanted to be awake. I never knew.

I know now.

I know now that it’s important to take care of yourself. To listen to your body and give it what it needs even if it isn’t what you want. If that means sleeping for 22 hours or stretching out sore muscles, then that’s what you do. Maybe it means you have to take some cold medicine to prevent the sniffles. Whatever it may be, listen to your body. You can’t ignore symptoms of illness because that cough could be a lot more than a cold. I know that when you take care of yourself, you will feel better. After a few days of intensive sleeping after the chemo, I become a functional human again and I can be awake and do what I want to do again. I don’t know what would happen if I were to push my body past its limits and I don’t want to know. That’s dangerous. Not just because of chemo but because a person’s body can only take so much stress before they collapse.

I know how to prioritize now. I know that my body and health come first. Resting and healing is more important. My education can wait. This blog can wait. It’s not that I won’t get to them, it will just take a little longer than normal. But I will get there.

I know that whatever it is you’re trying to push through isn’t worth the risk. You only have one body. Pushing through illness and exhaustion is not worth it. Go and rest. You won’t perform your best when you’re feeling sick. Go and take care of you. Everything else can wait. You will get there too.

 

Until next time,

Dana

The Redemption Batch

Here’s the story with these cookies:

I bake once a year during the holiday season. I don’t know if I’m overcome with some holiday spirit joy magic or what, but the need to make sugary goodness for others becomes real. I wanted to make cookies for my friends and family but I didn’t want to put in a bunch of work that I didn’t have time for. So I went to the store and purchased some chocolate chip cookie premix thinking that I’d save myself time and energy AND I’d get delicious cookies out of it. WRONG. I burned them. They were terrible. It was an embarrassing moment for all involved. I was so frustrated with the gross batch of pre-mixed cookie garbage I created that I had to redeem myself by making homemade cookies to prove to the world that I could, in fact, be a good baker.

So when I went home over the holidays, I found the old family cookbook that’s been in my kitchen cabinet since before dinosaurs roamed the earth and looked up the recipe that would save my reputation. In faded ink it read:

cookie

1 ½ cups softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3 1/3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
  3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into creamed mixture
  4. Stir in chips
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan

 

A bit of knowledge about this recipe should you try it:

You’re going to have SO. MANY. COOKIES.

I’m estimating here, but by the time you’re finished baking, you’re probably going to have somewhere around… 300,000 cookies. Probably. So be ready.

I’m totally kidding, this recipe yields about 8 dozen cookies in reality, but it definitely feels more like 300,000.

 

Now, this is not my first rodeo with this recipe, so it was a successful endeavor. Therefore, telling you the story of how they were made isn’t worth telling. However, I discovered one key fact about myself during this little event:

I REALLY hate baking.

When you’re creaming the butter, sugar and brown sugar together by hand with old, lumpy brown sugar, you’d hate baking too. I had to blare happy music to remind myself that I’m making these cookies for other people and cookies taste better when you put love into them, not bitter hatred and spite. And that was only during the first step of making this redemption batch! Imagine going through the rest of the cookie making process hating every step along the way! It wasn’t fun.

Long story short: I will not be making cookies until next holiday season when I forget what I learned this year. But I have been redeemed for now, so that’s all that matters.

 

Until next time,

Dana

 

Let’s Chat

Hi everyone,

13269362_495596163976343_2083116012_nHow are you doing? Well? Not so well? Hopefully you’re doing well. If not, I’m putting a picture of my dog in this blog post to brighten your spirits just a little. Look at that adorable face!

How am I doing? That’s a hard question to answer. Things are… seemingly good. My blood work is good, my apartment is not on fire and it is not a chemo week. Things are good. So why am I still making that grumpy face when I know something isn’t good?

It’s because we don’t talk anymore.

I’m not saying you and I don’t talk anymore. There’s a good chance I have no idea who you are so we’ve never met (Hi, by the way. Nice to meet you). I’m saying people don’t talk about the hard subjects anymore. When I say hard subjects, I’m referring to tragic events that have happened and once they’re over, no one calls it by what it is anymore (ex: bombings, suicide, abandonment, etc.) Why don’t we talk about them?

The easy answer would be “technology has ruined the future of communication,” but I don’t believe that. Others would argue “it’s not socially acceptable to bring up such things,” but I don’t believe that either. There are YouTube videos and blog posts and news articles about challenging content that we as a society choose to click away from. The opportunity is there and we do not take it. There are people telling their most personal stories to inspire others and we step away from them hoping that they’ll stop for our convenience. People pour their hearts into that work and we ignore it. For whatever reason, we don’t want to know. We don’t want to ask. I catch myself doing that all the time. In fact, I did it to a fellow woman who posted about her cancer story. I got about halfway through her story, realized that it was going to have a very sad ending and CLICKED AWAY LIKE A MONSTER. Who does that? Me. I did that. Why?

The answer is hard to admit: I was afraid. I was afraid to finish the story and to get to know this person even if I never got to meet her in real life. I was afraid to make a connection and care. I was afraid that what she had to say would alter the world that I live in now and I didn’t want my world to be screwed with. I have a whole blog dedicated to positivity and good vibes for people. To bring a smile to someone’s face when they need it. I could’ve reached out and sent her good thoughts or at least finished reading her blog post. But I didn’t do that and I should have.

So let’s talk for a second. Can we do that? Are we at that level yet?

Everyone has something that has touched their lives and yet they won’t talk about it because they’re afraid. Afraid of what others will say, afraid of the answers they’ll receive, whatever it may be. For me, it’s cancer (insert scary music here). I’m beginning to believe that there’s some folklore where if you say “cancer” in a darkened bathroom three times, a nurse with chemo drugs will pop up in the mirror.

It’s not that I’m afraid to talk about it but I’m afraid that what I have to say will turn people away so I try really hard to not talk about it unless it’s in a cancer update post. And even then I try to spin it in the happiest way that I can so I don’t alarm anyone.

Because cancer has become such a large part of my life so quickly it only makes sense that I think about it and talk about it a lot. I know that I have friends and family out there who want to ask me questions about it but refrain for whatever reason. So I want you to know something:

You can talk about it with me.

Cancer is a really scary word, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. The only way for our worldview to be broadened is by talking about the hard stuff. Cancer is unruly. It is real. It affects a lot of people, so let’s talk about it. Maybe then we can try to find something positive and good about something that’s really horrible. I’m not one for tip toeing around problems. I’m not a medical professional nor am I an expert on anything, but I am willing to answer any questions I can about it, so don’t be afraid to ask. Being curious about hard subjects is not wrong and shouldn’t be punished. The more we talk about these hard subjects, the more room there is for finding some positivity as we move forward in our lives.

Or, if you’re not ready yet, we don’t have to talk about it at all. We could talk about the weather or some other topic you’re really into. I am also down for that. You just let me know and I’m ready to listen.

 

Until Next Time,

Dana

The Best Company at Unicorn City

After living in a dorm with 400 other people for two and half years, I’ve learned to appreciate alone time. Today is the first day in well over a month that I’ve had completely to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much an extrovert. I love people and spending time with them. This past week was very exciting because I had so many people come over to the Unicorn City. (Fun fact: for those that don’t know, my apartment is also called Unicorn City because I own a clan of unicorn stuffed animals. And yes, they’re all named thank you very much.)

I love visiting with people and it’s always good fun when they come over, but there is something really sweet about having a day to myself. It gives me a chance to recharge and do all the things I can’t do when company is over: watch my favorite shows, eat mac and cheese from the pan, doing the dishes and, of course, sleeping. On days to myself I will stay in bed way past a socially acceptable time to be in bed. But hey! I’m alone! There’s no one here to judge. Except for Milo, but he’s my fish. He won’t tell on me.

It’s really important to be able live with others, but a lesson that a lot of parents forget to teach being able to live with yourself. I mean, people come and go but you are stuck with you. Forever. And if you don’t like yourself, that’s a big problem.

Now hold up. You’re probably thinking, “Dana is saying that if I don’t like me, I need to change everything about me.” NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’m sure that you’re a lovely person and chances are I’d like you if I met you (hi, by the way). However, if you don’t like yourself, I encourage you to change how you think about yourself. Instead of viewing yourself in a negative light, try something more positive.

Currently, for me, I have a really hard time accepting my body. It’s not as strong as it used to be a couple months ago and my body is what limits me from performing at 100%. But you know what? My body is mine. It’s beautiful. It may be annoying at times, but it’s healing. And I can live with that and love my body for what it is and what it will become.

Being alone can be hard because it is closely related to the world of loneliness. But being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Be your best company you’ve had over at your home. I know I’m my best company!

 

Until next time,

Dana