Changes Happening at IC + A New Blog!

Here’s the thing. IC started out chiefly as a travel blog. Light-as-a-feather, carefree, newly-graduated Haley anticipated having all the time in the world to travel back in 2013. And if she didn’t get to travel far, she’d still spend every weekend heading to a new place or finding a new adventure to write home about. So she thought, at least. Because this is what a lot of 23-year-olds think for a while.

Alright, enough third person.

Now, of course, life took some turns that, while awesome for my overall development and mental health, prevented me from having as much vacation time or money as I thought I would at this point. While I still get to travel an incredible amount (comparatively speaking), I am now in a position where I only get 2 weeks a year to actually take off and travel. What little time I had before (5 weeks, for anyone curious) has now become relatively miniscule.

I also noticed that my “off-travel-topic” posts, ranging from mental illness manifestos to interviews with Youtube-stars-in-the-making, kind of ran the gamut. And boy, was that a random gamut. However, I also noticed that a lot of my best posts had to do with confidence, insecurity, and anxiety.

So what did I do? Well, I started a new blog for those things called Building Your Bold.

BYB (as I like to shorten it) is all about confidence, insecurity, anxiety, and everything related to those things. It’ll be a weekly+ feature blog with new posts every Sunday or Monday and occasionally Thursday. In other words, it has that one key thing that IC has always been missing: consistency.

I feel confident (pun intended) that I can write something fresh and new about these topics every week, so I am choosing to do that with Building Your Bold. Moreover, many of the IC entries under those topics will eventually be moved over to BYB.

So where does this leave IC, you ask?

Well, first of all, IC ain’t goin’ nowhere. There is too much good material already on here to let it fold. Moreover, I will forever and always continue to blog about my travels here, even if I only go on 1-2 trips a year. Even if none of you guys read it, this is my “public diary” for some of the highlights of my life, so that it will remain.

To keep the blog going for the rest of the year, I will also try to be more diligent about writing about my local LA adventures. Given that I live in one of the most vibrant, entertaining, and overall poppin’ cities in the U.S., I don’t see why I can’t come up with at least one good entry a month–even if I’m not oozing wealth or free time out of my pores.

What to expect from IC moving forward

My goal for IC right now will be one well-done entry per month about LA living or general travel, unless I actually go on a trip. If I go on a trip, I will always have at least a few entries related to it. All of my entries moving forward will be complete with awesome pics and good stories, as they were with the Australia trip.

Anything related to the topics in the “Life Stuff” category on this blog will eventually be moved to Building Your Bold and from here on out, that blog is where I’ll publish anything related to those topics (which, again, are things like confidence, insecurity, relationships, anxiety, etc.)

Obviously, my primary goal with IC is to provide meaningful, entertaining information to you wonderful readers, so hopefully these changes do not impact your interest in this blog. Moreover, I hope that you do end up checking out Building Your Bold and reading the entries there each week. My written body of work is always evolving and I will always keep you all in the loop. Thank you for always being incredible–without you guys, I’d be nowhere.

Sincerely,

Haley

p.s. I know it’s kind of late in the game to say this, but…Happy 4th! Eat plenty of patriotic red, white, and blue for me. My stomach can only hold about 15-20 but my heart yearns for more.

 

On confidence and over-worrying

“I’m dropping out of school,” I told Adrienne.

“Uh…no you’re not.” A firm response from one of my dearest friends came back to me.

I was sitting on a wooden bench in ASU’s business building. Despite the deluge of students pouring out of their respective classrooms to head to their next obligation, I was crying, as I customarily do whenever any more-than-minor blow comes up (people who know me: sorry). But this was a long, continuous cry – a sure-fire sign that I was having a more grave difficulty with my life at that moment than usual.

I was sitting at a solid 3.6 GPA for my Master’s degree. I had passed 3 of the 4 sections of the CPA exam. I was the president of my business fraternity and ostensibly doing a fantastic job – we had earned a community service award, drastically increased our membership and attendance, and had finally elevated ourselves to the level of Nationally Distinguished Chapter. I had put hundreds of hours into volunteering for my community and had changed lives in the process. I had had a job lined up at a top accounting firm for months. I had built friendships with my college friends that would prove to be rewarding and life-affirming.

So…why exactly was I crying? Because I failed a test. One. Freaking. Test. It had been for a class I hated that I felt was thoroughly inconsequential to my long-term career goals. But it didn’t matter, because in my mind…

If I failed the test, I would probably fail the class (which was probable, had I not taken steps to ameliorate my grade). If I failed the class, I would fail my degree (which is true). If I failed my degree, I would lose my job offer. If I lost my job offer, I would go back to being a nobody with no job. And if that happened, well…I might as well be the most useless human being in the world, right? And all of the great things I had done would be overshadowed by this one measly indiscretion, right?

It seems completely irrational and stupid that I went down this mental path. And, to be frank with my 22/23-year-old self, it was, honey. It was. But it’s a perfect example I can use to illustrate just how crippling and debilitating my lack of confidence can be.

Of course, things have improved since then. At nearly 26, I no longer think that my world will detonate if I “fail” a work assignment/task (since school doesn’t apply here anymore). I can analyze things a little more rationally and I cry a little less often. But I still have my moments.

Sometimes my confidence is like an overheated engine running way too many RPMs too fast and I’m bordering on arrogance with how good I feel about myself. Other times, I struggle to pick out one positive attribute about myself and I let myself downward-spiral into a pit of harrowing despair. For instance, when I start to care about someone from a romantic perspective, my confidence levels go especially berserk. My mind is nothing but an endless feed of “doubt snippets”, or questions and comments that continuously flow through my stream of consciousness and prevent me from acting like a normal human being. So if I like someone, my brain is tapping away at my mind-door going How do I keep this person? At the same time, how do I be myself? What does “being myself” mean anyway? I’m kind of crazy, but in a good way, like it’s funny…I think? Am I actually funny? Am I enjoyable to be around at all? I feel like I’m ugly. But this person says I’m pretty. Am I pretty, though? They could totally be lying! Are they lying? What else are they lying about when they say nice things? Oh God, I’m starting to feel like I want this person to be my..you know…BOYFRIEND soon. Should I feel this way already? Should I feel that other way instead? How should I act? Do I act interested? Do I have the right to care about x or y? And so on and so forth.

All the while, I accidentally end up being myself – open, wacky, and emotionally vulnerable, that is. And traditionally, the people who choose to boo me up tend to be the people who are okay with open, wacky, and emotionally vulnerable. And when things ended, it generally wasn’t because of who I am a person, but because of things totally unrelated. Which, you know, is pretty common among people, the super-awesome and confident included.

Still, it’s not fun to deal with those negative thoughts while I’m trying to do something positive. I want to start going into situations and minimizing those thoughts as much as possible. Whether it’s for a new job in the future, a pole competition, or a love interest, I want to be confident in who I am and know that things will play out for the best. I might get that job – if I don’t, there’s a better one around the corner. I might win that competition – if I don’t, I walk away learning what not to do in the future. I might snag the guy I stan for, and if I don’t, he wasn’t the one for me anyway.

Things, generally speaking, happen the way they are supposed to happen.

I want to be confident. I want to worry less. I have already spent countless hour hypothesizing why I don’t feel confident and why I worry at times, but I’m at the point where I’m just trying to improve with regards to these matters.

And as lazy as it sounds, I think the best thing I can do is just let life happen.

-H