What I’m Reading Lately: December/January

Coming into 2015, I decided that one of my resolutions was going to be to read at least 20 books over the next 12 months. I love reading, and at any given time I have at least five books sitting on my bedside table that I’m in the middle of reading, and plenty more sitting on my bookshelf, in the living room, and in my purse.

Over the last few months, I’d taken to writing a reading goals post each month, with about three books that I planned to read that month; and what I’ve noticed is that those are almost never the books I end up reading. So this year, despite a resolution centered on reading more, I’m not going to be planning which books I’m going to read. Instead, I’d like to talk about the books I’m in the process of reading right now, in the hopes that it will motivate me to finish those books (I have a nasty habit of starting and never finishing books, because as much as I love to read, I love the feel of a new book even more).

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The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

I bought this book on my iPad months ago, and never really got into it until the last couple weeks. I’m a little torn on my feelings about it because while I love the characters and the general storyline, jumping back and forth all over the place in a book drives me crazy.

The Interestings spans a couple decades in the lives of several friends who met as teenagers at a summer camp for the arts. Instead of following a linear or at least logical passage through their lives though, the author jumps all over the place – in one chapter, a main character is 5-years-old, and in the next you’re reading a sex scene taking place in the life of another friend 15 years later. It can be difficult to follow, and while I do sort of like the omnipresent feel of knowing where everyone ends up and how that ties into who they are at 14, 15, 16 years old, I think I’d prefer if the book were at least somewhat more consequential.

Sherlock Holmesby Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I have been trying for years to read through all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but have only ever managed to make it through A Study in Scarlet, Hound of the Baskervilles, A Sign of Four, and about 10 or so of the short stories. I make this even harder on myself by starting at the very beginning with A Study in Scarlet every time I pick the book back up.

I absolutely love adaptations of these stories – Elementary, Sherlock, and House are some of my favorite shows; so I know I’d love the the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Unfortunately, I sometimes find them difficult to get into, probably because of the writing as compared to writing today.

The End of War, by John Horgan

I just picked this book up yesterday at Barnes & Noble after work, and I’m already about a quarter of the way through just from the bus-ride home (the book is just under 200 pages, so if I’m being fully honest, a quarter is only a little over 50 pages).

The book reads more like a long research essay on our propensity as human beings to engage in war and how we’re just as biologically likely to engage in peace. I’ve always been bothered by the idea that we’re incapable of brokering a more permanent peace. In my lifetime, we’ve had about 10 years of peace between the first and second Gulf Wars (or the Gulf War and the War on Terror – whichever you prefer). And as much as I enjoy (some) dystopian novels (like Station Eleven), I’m ultimately really bothered by the fact that in every one of them, humankind finds themselves incapable of starting over peacefully. All that said, once I’m finished with this book I’ll definitely be writing a post about it.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talkingby Susan Cain

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ve been working on this book for a little while now, and am expecting that it’ll be a while longer before I’ve finished. Like The End of War, this book is also research based, but it strikes me as being a little denser and harder to get through.

So far, I’m enjoying learning more about myself as an introvert, but ultimately I think I’m a little disappointed, I think because I put too much pressure on the book to “fix” me.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

I’ve been reading this book for about as long as I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes, and it’s another one that I really want to get through but can’t seem to because of the writing. While the writing is easy to understand, likely because it was updated in relatively recent years, I think anyone who has read a book written before the 1900s would agree that it’s just different.

I also think that generally, romances are just not my cup of tea (unless they’re written by John Green, in which case give me all the books). For example, I’ve read all of two Nicholas Spark’s books, and I’m not impressed by either of them. I think this may be a personal problem with the idea of romance, but that’s a topic for another post.

So what’s on your reading list lately?

A Few Thoughts, vol. 2

In October, I took a page out of Kelly’s book and decided to start a (apparently rare, since I haven’t written another post in months) series of posts for those thoughts that I can’t quite flesh out into a full-length post, but still want to talk about. Lately my notebook’s been filling up with these ideas again, and while I’d like to hopefully flesh out one or two of these ideas, I’d like to get them out there as much as I can now.

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Freedom of Speech

The Constitution is not your catch-all excuse to be a jackass. You don’t get to cry “freedom of speech” every time someone calls you out on your racist/sexist/homophobic/otherwise offensive and demeaning jokes, particularly when those “jokes” are contributing to a culture which continually puts down and both mentally and physically harms the people they are offensive towards. I can guarantee you that when the Constitution was written, that was not the intention.

I understand that a joke is oftentimes just a joke and that right now, this is probably a particularly controversial topic given recent events in France. However, making incredibly racist statements like “I got arrested for punching someone on New Years Eve. My instincts just kick in when I hear an Arab counting back from 10″ (this was an actual meme posted by one of my Facebook friends over the weekend) does not serve to prove your freedom or assert your right to free speech. What it does is prove is that whether or not you want to admit it, you’re incredibly bigoted and that you have no real understanding of either the Constitution or of relatively current events.

Friends

While watching Friends yesterday, I noticed that the guys’ Etch-a-Sketch changes throughout certain scenes. For example, in a scene I was watching yesterday, it flipped back and forth from “Get out” to “Poop” three times in one scene. Oooo the things you notice when you’re binge-watching Friends on Netflix.

That, and that Ross’s son would be about 20 years old right now. Just sayin’.

Cassandra C.

On Thursday, a Connecticut court ruled that a 17-year-old girl could be taken into state custody (despite having a good mother who had done absolutely nothing wrong), sedated, and tied to a hospital bed so as to receive cancer treatment she did not want.

Many people in support of the court’s decision to forcefully treat Cassandra are saying that she’s only 17 and therefore, a child in the eyes of the law. I’ll look over the fact that at 17, if Cassandra had committed a violent crime she’d be tried as an adult and that also at 17, she’s expected to be deciding what she wants to do for the rest of her life. If the overwhelming opinion is that she is an incompetent child unable to make her own medical decisions (which, later this year, you’ll all decide that she is magically capable of making on the day of her 18th birthday), then that would leave the decision up to her mother who also rejected chemotherapy, in accordance with her daughter’s wishes. Just because you do not agree with someone’s medical decisions does not mean you get to reject those decisions and replace them with your own.

Cassandra’s body is Cassandra’s body. Not her doctors’. Not Child Protective Services’. Not the state’s. Hers and hers alone which in America should be more than enough to mean that she gets to determine her own medical treatment. Even if the doctors are right that without this treatment, Cassandra will die in two years, that’s her decision to make.

Forcing treatment on someone who doesn’t want it is assault and a ridiculous violation of basic human rights, and I just cannot fathom why we need to be having this discussion in America. Why the doctors were ever able to call CPS and have Cassandra taken away from the only family she has. And why ultimately, the court sided with those doctors.

Crying Wolf

Obviously, I’m an outspoken feminist. It’s something I write about consistently on this blog, and regularly debate or discuss on social media and with people in my life. However, I recognize that there are limits to the things you will hear me say or do for that cause.

One thing that I see done constantly which I believe is hurting the case is feminists who speak out – loudly and with refusal to hear any opposing opinion – about “sexist” problems that frankly, just don’t exist (see: autocorrect is not out to propagate a misogynistic culture). While I understand the basic purpose of pointing out misogyny and sexism in everyday life (and absolutely agree with it!), finding sexism everywhere – even where it isn’t – only serves to make people stop listening (and is probably making you pretty miserable).

I am all for discussing any and all feminist issues – big or small – because they are all problems within our society which contribute to a much larger problem of continuing to hold men up over women. However, there has to be a line somewhere that people stop crossing just to discuss issues. Just to hold something up and call it sexism. The more you cry out about non-issues, the more people will decide that feminism must not be very serious because all of the issues you’re bringing up don’t exist. And that is a serious problem. 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I’m (slowly) working on reading this book, and while I’m really enjoying learning more about myself and that I’m certainly not the only introvert in the world (it can sometimes feel that way), I’m also becoming a little discouraged.

Susan Cain does a fantastic job of discussing the amazing achievements of introverts throughout American history, and of the contributions we make to society, but none of that can mask the fact that, despite all of that, introverts are not only undervalued but avoided in mainstream society. In fact, Cain discusses a relatively long history of introverts being “bad” because they don’t want to spend every waking moment in the company of others, being deemed antisocial and therefore unhirable. We teach children that to not want to socialize is to be unsuccessful, and that position carries into our post-graduate lives when we start applying and interviewing for jobs in offices.

While I truly am enjoying Cain’s book (slowly, because it is filled with research and can be a little difficult to get through in a regular reading sort of way) and the things I’m learning from it, and I recognize that she can’t change the reality of the situation, the book is a little more disappointing than I’d been hoping for. In short, I’m still struggling with my identity as an introvert more than I’d been hoping I would after reading this book.

Meet the Sponsors: A Hundred Tiny Wishes

Meet A Hundred Tiny Wishes

“I started A Hundred Tiny Wishes in September, 2013 as an outlet, and most of the time it’s a place where I bear my soul. Basically, [this blog is] a place for me to share the beauty of life and just be me. I write about family, DIY, beauty, motherhood, style, my many confessions, beauty reviews, and more – because living a hundred tiny wishes at a time is a lifestyle.”

meet a hundred tiny wishes
photo from Tabitha

Dear Lil’ Man

5 Things I’ve Learned About Parenting

25 Beauty Tips and Tricks

Blog // Bloglovin // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest

Friday Favorites, vol. 29

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// Blogging can seem like a bit of a competition sometimes, especially when your numbers aren’t adding up the way you feel like they should be. And it can be easy to use that to fuel jealousy of other bloggers, but like Madison points out in this post, more than anything we need to support one another as bloggers.

// For most of us, blogging is a hobby, meaning that we also have full-time jobs and/or school and other things taking up our time. Finding the time to write quality posts can seem impossible on top of all that, especially around this time of year with the holidays. Sophie has a few tips to make that struggle a little less of…well…a struggle.

// Friends is officially on Netflix, and I’m pretty excited to finally be getting to see all those episodes that didn’t air on TBS regularly, since I was too young to watch the show when it was still on.

// We all use Bloglovin‘, but how much do we really know about it? If you’re as unsure how to answer that question as I am, you’ll want to check out this great post from Lauren with all the things bloggers need to know about Bloglovin’.

Feminism in 2014: What Feminism Accomplished in One Year

It’s that time of month again, and I couldn’t be more excited to be taking the F-Word Link-Up into 2015. Kelly first e-mailed me about starting this project back in August, and I’ve had so much fun with it since then, and with getting to read all of the great posts you link up with us each month. So to celebrate making it to our sixth month of this link-up, today I want to talk about what happened for feminism in 2014.

For years, feminists have had to prove themselves throughout the world – prove their necessity, prove their purpose, prove what they aren’t… With voting rights achieved, women all over the world working outside the home, and important changes in the law, it seems like modern feminists are constantly trying to convince the rest of the world that our presence is still necessary. Explaining that even with these incredible accomplishments, the world is still far behind in terms of making sure women aren’t left behind can seem impossible sometimes, but these advances in gender equality throughout the last 12 months have served as substantial proof of that continued need.

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No Photoshop

In January, the popular lingerie chain Aerie announced their decision to stop retouching their models. They were the first American business of their kind to make this decision, and were met with support from all over the country as women began to see more realistic body representations in advertising for that company. While the women featured in these ads are still considered beautiful by conventional standards, and are likely much thinner than a great majority of women, the vow to stop photoshopping women’s bodies for magazines is a giant step towards body positivity.

#YesAllWomen

In May, feminists everywhere took to Twitter armed with this hashtag and explained that while not all men rape, harass, or otherwise suppress women, all women have experienced these things at one time or another. In less than a week, the hashtag reached the top of the charts with nearly two million total tweets, educating people everywhere on one of the primary reasons for feminism in modern society.

Emma Watson

The United Nations named Emma Watson a Goodwill Ambassador in July of this past year, placing her alongside Nicole Kidman, Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, and Farhan Akhtar, meaning that the board is made up of three women and one man. Watson immediately accepted this honor and took to the UN to deliver a powerful speech on what feminism is and why we need it – regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox became the first transgender actress to receive an Emmy nomination in July, when she was nominated for her continued (and incredible) performance as Sophia in Orange is the New Black. She then went on to spend the rest of the year showing the world what an incredible woman she is.

Malala Yousafzai

In October, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, as acknowledgement for the incredible work she’s done in fighting for the rights of Middle Eastern girls to receive an education. This was an amazing stand for a teenage girl in Pakistan to take when she’s surrounded by people in charge telling her that, because she is a girl, she does not need or deserve an education, and it’s a stand that didn’t go unpunished. Since then though, Yousafzai has continued advocating for girls’ educational rights throughout the world, and the Nobel Committee recognized that this past year.

Congress

Despite democratic complaints of having lost their advantage in congress, the 2014 Midterm Elections this past November made history. In the upcoming congressional term, just over 100 women will be serving – a record high and an incredible accomplishment for women in Congress.

Lammily Doll

Also in November, the world finally saw a realistic alternative to Barbie – Lammily, a doll modeled after real girls and women, providing a healthy body image for girls to look up to.

Feminism in the Media

Several women in Hollywood took to their typewriters and published feminist memoirs, like Amy Poehler’s Yes PleaseOther well-known women, like Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Ellen Page spoke out about their identity as feminists, and in Page’s case as a member of the LGBTQA community. When an anonymous group hiding behind the Internet released hundreds of illegally obtained nude photos of (primarily female) members of Hollywood, actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, who was targeted in the attack, took the opportunity to speak out about sexual assault which gets glorified rather than punished oftentimes, a fact for which she was not willing to apologize.

So now I want to know – what important strides did feminists everywhere take this year that I didn’t mention in this post? Or on the other end, what setbacks do you think we suffered?

feminism in 2014

Basic Blogging Etiquette for Your Website

From the time we’re young, we’re taught the socially acceptable way to behave in public: don’t speak with food in your mouth, don’t interrupt someone when they are speaking, look at a person when they’re speaking to you (at least in Western cultures), and so on.  When you start blogging, the set of rules changes because suddenly, you’re not interacting face-to-face anymore.  It can be a tough set of rules to understand and get used to, and it took me years before I started understanding most of them.  So today, I want to talk about a few “blogging etiquette” rules that would have made my life a whole lot easier if I’d known them sooner.

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Comment Links

I can remember leaving comments on all my favorite blogs, always trailed with “stop by my blog!” and a link.  It never occurred to me that this was anything but friendly in the blogging world. Somewhere along the line though, I learned that this crossed the line from friendly marketing to being pushy.

Commenting on other blogs is one of the best ways to get your name out there and to find new blogging friends, so it makes sense that we would leave our link for others to follow, like a breadcrumb trail back to our house. If your commenting system is set up correctly though, whether it’s Disqus, WordPress, or Blogger, your username will link to your blog anyway; so that if someone wants to check out your blog they know how to. Leaving a direct link on top of that gets a little bit repetitive and starts to seem like you’re not commenting for genuine conversation, but for page views.

Sourcing

When it comes to textbooks and research papers, we all know how important it is to cite our sources because every teacher since the first grade has been telling us. With blogging though, it’s a bit more of a gray area of when do you just happen to have a similar idea, and when are you genuinely using someone else’s work.

It should go without saying that if you share a person’s photos or words, you absolutely need to link back, and should probably ask their permission as well. But when it comes to using someone’s idea to spark your own, it gets a little more fuzzy. My rule of thumb is that if you’re reading someone’s post and think hey, that seems like a cool topic – let me expand on it – you should reference that person when you write your post. Aside from being good manners (and a great way to avoid a summons in your mailbox for plagiarism), linking back to the person you got your idea from or who you’re referring to in a post can be a great way to make new blogging friends!

Inspiration

I mentioned above that it can be great to get a blog post idea of your own from someone else’s posts, and it is! One of my favorite parts of this blogging community is that we all draw inspiration from one another, and as long as you’re linking back there’s nothing wrong with that.

The problem comes in though when you don’t put your own twist on an idea you got from one of your favorite bloggers. If someone you admire writes a really great post and it’s something you’d like to write too, that can be a lot of fun and a great way to connect. But it’s equally important to make sure you’re making the post your own, and not just writing exactly what that other blogger already wrote with small changes here and there to make it “yours”.

Tagging

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things about social media is the chance to tag people in your posts, especially on Twitter. It’s a great way to connect with other bloggers outside of commenting, and can actually be more fun because it lends itself to a more immediate response.

In the same way that leaving your direct link in a blog post comment can seem pushy and insincere though, tagging a person on social media can too when it’s not relevant. For example, if you’re writing a round-up type of post like my weekly Friday Favorites posts or Crystal’s Currently Loving Link-Up, then linking to the people you referenced in your post is great! It lets them know you loved their post enough to share it and gives your followers a way to find them. Linking to someone because you want them to read your post, whether or not it has anything to do with them though, can be a problem because similarly to linking in a comment, you’re targeting them directly in your advertisement. It would be sort of like a Geico commercial that showed up to your doorstep and said “KIERSTEN!! SAVE $100 IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS!”

Sponsorships

We all love getting sponsored content offers, because it means that all the work we’re putting in here is paying off – and God knows we work hard enough on our blogs! Companies love these types of programs too because blog readers are a loyal group and tend to take the advice of their favorite bloggers. If someone like Erin from Living in Yellow suggests a favorite brand, you can bet that brand is seeing hundreds of sales coming directly from her page. So it’s a win-win-win situation when bloggers get to talk about products they love and that their readers will love.

That trust doesn’t come from nowhere though – it’s the result of honest blogging, and your readers will quickly stop trusting your suggestions if they can’t figure out what’s a genuine suggestion and what’s being paid for. I actually think this may be some sort of law, but even if it’s not: if you’re writing about a product or service in exchange for free product or payment, you should be disclosing that in your post.

So tell me – what are some rules of blogging etiquette that I didn’t mention here?

5 Tips to Nail the Job Interview

This might be a bit presumptuous, but I think I may know better than anyone how terrifying a job interview can be.  Being an introvert starts me at a disadvantage, and my anxiety makes it that much worse.  Put these two together, and you have me up at 3am the night before the interview, frantically Googling acceptable answers to the question “if you were a Crayola crayon, which color would you be?” because somewhere along the line we started telling college students that that’s a legitimate question you will be asked (not-quite-a-pro-tip: nobody is going to ask you that question.)

So while I’m far from being a pro at this, and there are probably far more qualified people on LinkedIn willing to share advice, here are my five tips for nailing the job interview that you’re absolutely terrified you’re going to screw up.

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Know Whether You Want the Job

It might seem like utterly ridiculous advice in a society where finding a job is akin to finding the golden ticket and having a degree really doesn’t mean much of anything.  I’m not suggesting that you’re going to find your dream job and that you’re going to love it every minute of every day, but you should enjoy your job more often than not.  And the job interview is the first chance you’re going to get to figure out what you do or don’t like about a certain company.

I’ve been on job interviews where the interviewers texted the entire time, stared out the window while I was talking, and didn’t bother shaking my hand even when I held it out to them.  I never did get that job, but I also knew from the get go that I didn’t particularly want it.  The job I’m at now though?  I love it, and the interview was my first experience with the people I work with now.  Going home that day, I couldn’t wait to tell my parents how great everyone I’d met at the company was.

Ask Questions

This is advice I can remember my mom giving me when I went on my first job interview back in freshman year of high school.  At the time, I was interviewing for a job as a snack-stand attendant at the local sports complex and the point was kind of moot since the only questions they asked were, “do you have a work permit” and “can you work weeknights.”

As I got older though, and started interviewing for internships and for full-time post-graduate jobs, the advice started to make more sense.  Most interviewers are going to ask if you have any questions, and having nothing to say makes it seem like you’re not very interested.  Beyond that though, and this is why my mother gave me the advice, you should ask questions because you should have questions.  There are going to be aspects of a job you don’t like, and some of those aspects might be deal breakers.  Asking these questions at the interview gets them out of the way, so that you’re not finding out after you’ve turned down another job that you’re not happy with your workplace.

Do Some Research

I don’t mean you need to grab the nearest notebook and log in to your university’s alumni library program, but you should know a little bit about the company you want to work for.  Chances are pretty slim that an interviewer is going to ask you what year a company was founded, or how much money they made last year (although that’s another question college career counselors would have you believe you should be prepared for), but they probably will want to check that you know what the company does and be able to tie that into your career goals.

When you find out you have an interview somewhere, take a few minutes to figure out what that company does and how you fit into that.  Some interviewers may never ask, but others will want to know if you have any experience in this type of work, and how you think you’d be of benefit to the company. Don’t get caught stuttering out something along the lines of “uhh, well, I’m really great with people.”

Don’t Lie

I know it can be tempting to pad your resume, especially in the first couple years out of college where there’s not much on there (trust me – I know the feeling you get when you think “could I put my experience as a waitress on here?” because spoiler alert: I did). But for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t make things up. If you barely passed college Spanish, don’t write that you’re fluent in three languages because chances are, you’re going to have an interviewer ask for some sort of proof or, if you get the job, some day down the line someone in the company is going to ask you to use that skill.  Don’t put yourself in that position.

Instead of making things up to fill your resume, use experiences you really do have (like that waitressing job I just mentioned) and apply skills you learned there to the field you’re looking for a job in. For example, waitressing for three years in college taught me time-management and multitasking skills that can be applied in any post-grad job.  The resume game is about knowing how to apply the experiences you have to the experiences you want, not about lying to get the job.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Remember all those group projects and extensive research papers you hated doing in college? Well, I hope you kept a copy of them because now’s when they come in useful. Most employers may never ask to see that business plan you created in Intro to Advertising, but they will love to hear about it. Being able to discuss these projects you’ve done, what they’ve taught you, and what skills you were able to apply to them shows an employer that you’re willing to get a job done and that you have skills to bring to the table.

Next time an interviewer asks what kind of experience you have with teamwork, remembering that press release you wrote and presented back in college can help to not only tell them that you have the experience, but show them that you have the experience.

Ringing in the New Year: 2015 Goals

2015 goals
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You’ve probably already heard a hundred other people say this, but I can’t believe it’s already 2015.  Most days, I feel like I’m still in college at the very least, so the idea that my graduation was last year is more than I’m fully able to comprehend.  But believe it or not, 2015 is here, and that means time for looking back over 2014, and planning for 2015.

Reflecting on 2014: She is Fierce

Before 2014, She is Fierce didn’t exist.  It wasn’t until April that I started this little space, and it’s worth mentioning that this blog has grown so much since then.  Over the last couple of months, I’ve started to work on updating old posts – editing spacing, enlarging photos, etc, but it’s still so easy to see the difference between then and now (and, I should add, I’m definitely still working on editing old posts).  I owe a lot of that to this amazing community that’s helped me learn the ins and outs and, if the fact that I’ve been blogging for over five years but am still learning isn’t proof that you never get perfect at this thing, then nothing is.

Aside from starting this blog though, 2014 has meant a lot of big things for She is Fierce.  There was a rebrand over the summer, going from Chasing Extraordinary to She is Fierce, a name which I think suits both me and this space so much more. I’ve started a monthly feminist link-up with Kelly from The Lady Errant, and I’ve jumped into offering blog sponsorships.  I’ve started building a (small) community around this space, and have loved the conversations I’ve been able to have with all of you.

More than anything though, I’ve worked really hard on finding out what I want this space to be, figuring out the types of posts I enjoy writing the most.  I’m still growing (and I don’t think I’ll ever stop), but what I’ve figured out so far is that my favorite posts are the ones about blogging, feminism, and anything else I feel strongly about.

Reflecting on 2014: Life

As much as 2014 was a big year for She is Fierce, it was a big year in my life outside of blogging as well.  In May, I graduated from college with my degree in Communications and Journalism (and made my first student loan payments), and started taking classes towards my Paralegal License, which I’ll be finished up with in a couple months.  I attended my first writer’s conference, Boldface (and loved it).  I left my job as a waitress and started my first “real world” job, which I then left a couple months later for a full-time job at a firm in the city.

This past year meant a lot of growing up in my life, and it’s something I’m still getting used to most days, so here’s to even more growth in 2015!

Favorites from 2014

If I Had a Daughter

Finding Honesty in Blogging

What Depression Means to Me

On Still Needing Feminism in 2014

Words Can Hurt Me

How College Made Me a Better Person

On Being an Introvert: Why I Struggle With My Personality

Why “I Don’t Want Kids” is Not Your Cue to Say “Yes You Do”

My Feminist Role Models

Why Debate is a Necessary Part of Our Society

A Discussion of the CIA Report and Finding the Moral High Ground

On Struggling to Understand: A Discussion of Michael Brown and Eric Garner

2015 Goals

Learn a New Craft I’m not 100 percent sure which one yet – I’ve been considering weaving, but I’d also really love to learn to knit or quilt.

Read 20 Books I think this is completely doable, but with full-time work, freelance writing, school, and blogging, I end up forgetting about just relaxing with a good book a lot of the time. I know it’s just not realistic to make reading a priority in my current life, but it is something I’d like to dedicate more time to in 2015.

Start an Etsy Shop I mentioned a couple of months ago that I really want to open an Etsy shop for my photography and crochet crafts. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, and almost jumped into way too soon a couple of months ago. This year, I want to put the time and effort into getting this thing started.

Yoga I’m not going to make any type of concrete goal here because if I’m being honest, it just won’t happen. But I do want to get involved in consistent yoga practice in some form this year.

A Photographic Review of 2014

2014 in photosIt’s officially the last week of 2014, and I’m going to go ahead and be the 10,000th person to say that I can’t believe it’s almost 2015 already!  Thinking back over the last 12 months, I can see why Modest Mouse said “the years go fast but the days go so slow.”  This year has had its ups and downs, like any other, and most of them are nothing you’d want to read about here.

But I do want to look back over my year in a shareable way, to review what I’ve done and where I’ve been since January 1, 2014.  So today, I’m going to share a timeline of my year: 2014 in photos.2014 in photos2014 in photos

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So what about you? How did you spend 2014?

Friday Favorites, vol. 28

Friday Favorites
here

// We all know Bloglovin‘ is great for following the blogs you love to read, but according to Elle it’s a lot more than that.  Here are the things every blogger should know about why Bloglovin’ is great for your blog, and how to use it to your best advantage.

// Last week, my dad called and told me that some amazing artists (including one of my favorites, Mumford and Sons) had gotten together and put music to some of Bob Dylan’s writing which he had never turned into songs.  All of the songs have been put together on a CD titled Lost on the River.  The result is pretty awesome, and this is one of my favorites from the CD.

// Do you know if your blog is a hobby or a business?  Daisy can help you figure that out!

// Now that 2014 is winding to a close, we’re looking back over the last 12 months, and some of the things we’ve learned since last year.  Check out these five things Jenny has learned about creativity in the last year

// How gorgeous are these fonts?  And they’re free too!  Dinosaur Stew curated a bunch of gorgeous free script fonts along with the links to download them, and I’m pretty much in love.  Which is your favorite?

friday favorites
here