2016 – Challenge: Day 10-18

Day 10

Day 10 – Monochrome

Iron[wo]man. I have too much time on my hands. Or not enough. I’m not entirely sure. Continue reading

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2016 – Challenge.

Years ago I spent a lot of money on a DSLR camera. Since that purchase, I have used the camera enough times to warrant the purchase, but I have not moved forward in pursuit of bettering my photography skills. This year, I hope to fix that. Granted, these photos are mediocre, but I’m hoping throughout the year I will improve.

I’ll be posting probably once a week, even though I’ll be taking the pictures daily. Maybe if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll post the pictures after I take them. I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for that one though.

The challenge is called Capture Your 365, and I’ll be tagging it as such despite the fact that this year will have 366 days in it.

Continue reading

The Life and Times of a Spade

You might want to step back, because I’m about to get all sorts of personal on your dash.

I’m sorry, that ridiculous pun sounded a lot better in my head. Getting to the point though, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of what is going on in my life, and what that will mean for my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I was hired on for a full-time phone customer service position. Not a big deal, and I don’t start until early to mid February which means nothing has changed as of yet. I don’t know what my shift is, and I won’t know until the middle of March what it will be. As it stands now, that one job won’t change much when it comes to posting.

The thing that might make my posts more sporadic is the fact that I will be looking for a part-time position as well. I know what you’re thinking, “Johana! A part-time and full-time job isn’t going to occupy all of your time.” Okay, maybe you’re not thinking that, but if you are then I’d have to say that you would be right. Keep in mind we have to factor in time for sleep as well as time for eating and exercising. That shaves a bit more off my available hours within any given week. Once again that is not what I am worried about, I’m more worried about the fact that I am also going to continue going to school full-time. With my procrastination techniques firmly in place, I do believe my posts will be limited. I’m hoping for once a week at least. We will see how well that works out.

Just wanted to keep you updated as I continue on in my endeavors of paying my bills and getting educated. With any luck I’ll be able to make it to graduate school with only a bit left to pay on my car.

Why did nobody tell me adult life was going to be so stressful?
~Johana Spade

Apologies Are Not Necessary

It’s funny how I feel the need to justify my writing. I’m practically apologizing for being human and making mistakes anytime a person finds even the most minor of flaws within my creative works. Hell, I’d probably do the same thing here on my blog. It doesn’t really make sense. I should not feel the need to make excuses for something I put so much effort into, because the fact of the matter is the person is trying to help me. Have I mentioned that I’m terrible at accepting help?

Maybe I should rewind.

Recently, I gave my mom the first two chapters of a novel I wrote. This novel has gone through a series of edits, and I finally got to the point where I decided I was going to redo the entire thing. I gave my mother a copy of the renewed draft, so even though it’s way different than the previous one it is still rough. When I came over for dinner with my family, my mom asked if she could write on it. I don’t know why I took it so personally, but I began to feel bad that I had given someone something so unpolished. I shouldn’t feel bad. I’m sharing. She asked to see this, because she’s proud of me or whatever. I don’t need to make excuses. I know this. Yet I do it anyway.

It’s a side effect of me constantly thinking my writing is sub par. I need to break this habit, because I don’t need to be perfect. Comparing myself to others is not going to do me any good, because how boring would it be if everyone wrote the same.

This is where I make a point to start finding the beauty in my style and owning it. Because I’m never going to be anyone other than myself.

~ Johana Spade.

Toast to You

Exploring the mighty blogosphere can be as scary as it is enlightening. It’s a massive place that houses millions of different blogs, with different writers, styles, and preferences; and that’s wonderful. Maybe you’re wondering how I can find something that is so amazing to be even the slightest bit scary.

The answer to that is easy.

Talent.

Maybe the answer isn’t as easy as I originally thought. It’s not that I am scared of talent, per se. The thing that scares me is the lingering fear that I will not match up to aforementioned talent. As often as I have been told not to compare myself to others, it’s one of those ‘old habits’ kicks and their death is hard.

But this post isn’t about me. Shocking, I know. This post is about you, those of you who will and who won’t read this post. It’s meant for you, I’m just the messenger here.

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day browsing unknown blogs and discovering new people to be in awe over. Photography blogs, poetry blogs, blogs with cats, music, and food. All different types of blogs passed in front of my eyes, and I gobbled it all up like the proverbial turkey it was.

Come the end of my perusing, I felt empty. The fact of the matter remained that as much as I took from the posts and people I had just seen, I had given nothing back. Rather selfish if you ask me. Then it occurred to me that I could at least let the blogger know that I enjoyed their post, a small price to pay for devouring the glimpse they had given me into their life.

So I commented. I liked. And I followed. I handed them out like candy to Trick-or-Treater’s and I regret nothing. In fact, I plan to do it again. It’s a fulfilling task that makes me and the recipients feel better, and I like that feeling.

We could all do a little better to put a smile on the face of those we admire. A simple ‘like’ can do that, and all it takes is a click of a button.

Plus, looking at other blogs is a learning experience. I, for one, learned that my blog needs work. Not that I already didn’t know that, but a certain blogger helped me to realize I needed more cats on my blog. Because cats. For that I can’t thank her enough for the unintentional insight she gave me.

And now, cats.

DSC_0289Mouse posing for the camera.
DSC_0299
Louis objecting to having his picture taken.

 ~J. Spade

It Just Takes Ten Minutes

Dear Reader,

You’re sick, and that’s okay. It’s okay that smiles don’t come easy, and that half the time all you want to do is disappear. All of that is okay because you are human and you are young.

It is not okay for you to give up. Promise me that you will never give up.

Don’t let a world that is so big get you down over something that is so small. There is more to life than failures, and you will have many failures. Think of all the people you have touched in one way or another. The good and the bad, your life has influenced those around you.

You are an impact. Powerful, with a force unseen by many, you can help people. Don’t fake a smile if it doesn’t feel good. Say no when something just doesn’t suit your fancy. All you need to do in life is be true to yourself. No one can ask for more than that, and nobody should be asking for less.

Sometimes it might feel like the end is near. And maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop living your life just because you don’t have anywhere else to go. You are much stronger than you think you are, and you have people who love you unconditionally.

Maybe the harsh realities of the world are too much to bear sometimes, and you can hide from the world for a few days. Just don’t let it rule you, do not let your fears control your actions. Come out of hiding for a day or two at a time, just enough to let the world know that you’re still fighting.

I, too, know what it is like to feel like you’re waging a battle against yourself. I know the struggles that come with the pain inflicted on your skin, and the scars that are left behind. Scars fade, memories fade, but the strength of your soul does not. Keep your heart beating by doing what you love. Do not settle for anything less than what you deserve.

There are going to be times when you hate your parents. That moment when your mom reads your journal and finds out just how much you want to die might seem like a gross invasion of privacy, and maybe it is. But a small part of you will know that you left it out for her to read on purpose. The tears she shed over your unseen wounds might make you feel just a little more loved than you had felt that morning, and it will mark a turning point for you. Cause even though you get horribly frustrated with both your mother and father because they just do not understand, you also love them because they stand by you even though they cannot know of the demons you are facing.

I can promise you that you will make it through this, but I cannot promise you that it will ever completely go away.

Always try to remember that you are strong, you are brave, and you are beautiful.

But most importantly, I want you to remember that you are me and we are one.

~J. Spade

Stumped

When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?


Life is full of challenges
Some you can face head on
Others you have to decipher
In order to stay strong

There will be a time that you
Don’t know know your way
It will take a lot of thought
You’ll ask yourself questions

When you find yourself stuck
And you think you might come undone
Take a breath in through your gut
It’s good to give yourself some time
~J. Spade

Tina Fey

Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook. If you could choose anyone — from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson — to narrate your posts, who would it be?


There are so many amazing choices out there for voice work, and I would be beside myself if I hadn’t of thought long and hard about this question at some point in my life. The person I would chose to narrate my posts would have to be Tina Fey.

After listening to her audiobook and being a huge fan of hers for many years, I have to admit that I think she would be a perfect choice. She does well with both subtle and overt humor, and she happens to be a great writer on top of all that. While it would be awesome to say Morgan Freeman narrates my blog, or anyone else known for their amazing voice-overs, I have to stick with Tiny Fey.

~J. Spade