A Year in Review

My last post title is so funny looking back at it. I’m back? HAH.

I just check to see when I last posted and the time stamp says AUGUST 2017.

THAT’S A YEAR AND FOUR MONTHS SINCE MY LAST POST.

I’d apologize for not writing more, but the truth is, I’m not. I’ve been out living a little instead of writing. However, I am sorry if reading my blog was something you regularly enjoyed reading (hi mom).

Since it’s been such a long time, let me bring you up to speed on my life:

  1. I’m a super senior in college getting ready to graduate in May (No. I don’t have a plan yet. Please don’t ask.)
  2. I’ve stage-managed three productions, house managed for two, artistic directed a Fringe Festival, assistant directed for a main stage production and created my first lighting design.
  3. I have a billion things on my to do list before the end of the semester.
  4. Number three is a lie, but I still have a lot on my list.
  5. I took a spring break trip to Colorado it was life changing.
  6. I performed for the first time in two years this summer and it was my own writing.
  7. I’ve had five or six oncology appointments since the last time we’ve chatted and I am better than ever. My oncologist told me in my last appointment that it was like the cancer wasn’t there in the first place.
  8. I can put my hair into a half pony tail now!
  9.  I am working in the scene shop at my university and it is by far the best job I’ve ever had.
  10. I had to put down two of my doggos this past month, so I’ve been pretty sad. But they’re in a better place so it’s okay.
  11. I’ll be getting to work as a Props Artisan on a professional show in January.

And this is just a small version of what I’ve done in the last year and a half. There have been really big ups and downs across the board, but that’s just life. My time has been filled to the brim and since this blog is something I do for fun, there hasn’t been any time for it.

I didn’t realize how much time I had to myself to be creative when I was undergoing treatment. I had time to heal, write and be creative as I could in my waking hours. However, the real world doesn’t work like that. You don’t always get that kind of time to pause and reflect. Even now, I don’t have time. I have four projects and a show I should be working on, but I wanted to give myself a moment to pause and talk with you.

I’m okay with being busy. I’d rather not have time. When I was undergoing treatment, it was like my whole life was on pause and the only way to make it move forward was if I filled it with something because I was forced to stop doing all the things I loved. It was infuriating to say the least.

And because I wasn’t doing anything, I saw the world was still moving without me. It was hard to watch. I felt like I wasn’t needed.  I know I’m wanted, but I felt as though I wasn’t needed and that was one of the most difficult sensations to overcome. But my dad reminded me of something that his teacher once asked him:

What are all the things you want to accomplish in your time on this earth?

Of course I have a list for that: write a play, direct, love, explore, travel, do all the other things every blogger on this platform talks about.

But then my dad’s teacher asked another question:

What would this world be missing without you in it?

The cynic in me says nothing would be missing. The world would keep moving as it does and eventually someone else would come up with whatever I created or contributed to society.

But that’s not true. If I weren’t here, the world would be missing an optimist. A writer. A lover. A friend. A sister. An explorer. And everything I am to become. Look at what I’ve done in the last 22 years alone! Who knows what I can do next! Without me in the world, we would never know! That’s one “What If” I don’t want to live with.

So now my life has been un-paused and it feels like it’s fast forwarding to make up for lost time. And I have a lot left to do. Get ready!

I’m hoping to write a little more than before, but I can’t guarantee anything. If it’s been a while, just know that I’m out living to bring back stories for you!

Thank you for waiting for me to live a little.

 

Until Next Time,

Dana Qualy

 

Summer in Wisconsin for the College Kid

It’s done. You’ve struggled. You’ve stressed. You’ve probably cried. You’ve most likely been living off of energy drinks and coffee for the last few weeks. But it’s done and it’s time to relax because summer is here!

But now what?

If you’re anything like me, this is always the tricky part. You spend all of spring semester daydreaming about the glories of summer. However, by the time summer does show up, you haven’t planned anything. Well, I’m going to be honest. I did that again. To counteract it, I’ve made a list of some things to do in Wisconsin over the summer and I wanted to share it with all of you! If you’re not from the Wisconsin area, I’m sure most of these can be tailored for your location.

Go to a drum corps show

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See a show at one of the several outdoor Wisconsin theatres (American Players Theatre, Peninsula Players, etc.)

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Go to the beach and soak up some sun (on the days when it’s not pouring rain)

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Get employed and earn some extra cash

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Enjoy the natural Wisconsin scenery at places like Copper Falls or Devil’s Lake

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Spend a day being a tourist in your own state by going to Door County

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Take an adventure to a bigger city and go to a museum (I’m a personal fan of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago)

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Floating down the River in Eau Claire

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Binge watch that Netflix show (you’ve earned it)

If you need a recommendation, go take a look at 8 Shows to Binge this Summer

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And a bonus one that people normally think of when they’re in Wisconsin:

Head to Wisconsin Dells: the water park capital of the world

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Until Next Time,

Dana

Wanna be a College Blogger?

College kids are weird. I can vouch for this because I’m a college kid and I’m super weird. Mind you, they’re incredible and can do incredible things, but they are SO WEIRD. Why? It’s the first time they’re on their own and get to do whatever they want: watch TV all day, drink until their livers hate them, stay up for 76 hours straight, and other random stuff. I’ve seen college kids build entire companies and I’ve also seen college kids break into the football field at two in the morning so they could have a light saber battle the week before finals. It varies.

College students also become a lot more vocal once they set foot on campus. For the first 18 years of their lives, they only know their town’s opinions and interpretations of the outside world. College is the start of cultural expansion for many and are no longer shielded from media content and activist programs. It’s the first time they really begin to formulate opinions and have an open dialogue with other curious minds.

They share opinions in tons of different ways. As a weird college student, I have found my favorite method of sharing opinions is face to face. When that option isn’t available, my second favorite option is through my blog, and I’m not alone in that respect. The blogging sphere is continuously increasing and filling with more student bloggers every day. As a college blogger for the last few months, I’ve learned a lot. I have a small, semi-regular audience and my blogger voice is developing (well, I hope so. What do you think?). I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way as well: irregular posts, too large of a website, etc. Tons of people are gaining an interest in the blogging world. If starting a blog is something you’re interested in doing, here are five tips to help you out:

 

Figure out how serious you are about blogging.

I definitely recommend doing a mini trial run. Start by typing a couple of posts and if you like what you’re doing, then go ahead and put in the work to make a website. If you don’t, then nothing is lost! If you’re not having fun, don’t do it! There’s no point torturing yourself. Go do something you enjoy (like reading My Bright Corner).

 

If you’re serious, invest in a domain

So you do like writing articles? Perfect! Welcome to the community! If you’d like to keep your articles all in one place and have a fully functioning website, you should invest in a domain and find a content management system. There are lots of different options but my personal favorite is WordPress.

 

Plan Ahead

Let’s be real: you’re a busy college student. You have stuff to do. Be realistic about how often you’ll be able to post and make sure you incorporate writing time into your weekly schedule. If you don’t, you won’t write and you’ll website will fizzle out.

I am the world’s biggest procrastinator. I have set a goal for myself to write three blog posts a month and if I don’t set a goal date, I will wait until the end of month to post anything. By planning ahead, I can stay on track for writing my blog posts and not feel stressed out later.

 

Rough Drafts are a Beautiful Thing

If I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: I LOVE ROUGH DRAFTS. A blog post isn’t a last minute paper for that gen. Ed. class you barely attend. This is your work that you enjoy doing in your free time. You should want to try to make it look as nice as you can and a rough draft or two can help with that.

 

Create a Blog that Works for YOU and KEEP GOING.

The most popular types of blogs may not be what you want to write about. Don’t feel pressured to create a blog with popular content because that’s what everyone else is doing. Create a blog with content that you love and you like writing about.

Also, you may feel a lot of anxiety when you go to share your work for a variety of reasons: fear of negative response, that it’s not your best, etc. If it’s out of your control, don’t stress. You’re a new blogger and you’re learning. The most important thing is that you’re happy doing what you’re doing. Whether one person reads it or a million, a blog that makes YOU, the writer, happy is what should be at the top of your priority list.

 

So welcome new bloggers! Happy typing!

 

Until Next Time,
Dana