My First Solo Disney Day

So, I never thought I would make it to Disneyland by myself. Who knew I would actually enjoy it! 

I usually go to Disneyland with my family and friends but I decided to go to my favorite place by myself. And to be honest, it was quite fun! At first it was a little weird, walking to the tram by myself and entering the park alone. But I began to feel at home and the feeling subsided. I had my camera so I was eager to get a few good shots while I was exploring the park solo.

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Here is a photo I took while at Disneyland. More to come!

I ended up taking nice photos that I will for sure post soon of spring time at Disneyland and of some lovable characters. It was a blast. For those who photograph at the Parks, you know the struggles of doing it with other people. You feel rushed and hesitant to get into the photographer mode. However, going by myself, I was able to photograph to my heart’s content and spend extra time getting the shot I wanted.

I was able to eat what I wanted which is always great! For some odd reason, hotdogs from Disneyland taste so good to me and I was finally able to have some while I people watched in Toon Town. I took time and hunted down a few characters and took photos with them. And I was able to just enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of Disneyland.

I also met up with a few friends who happened to be in the park. That is nice to be able to freely see my friends. It is hard when you are with your family because of waiting. I saw a group of my friends from college and got to meet their daughter again and talk with them. And I even was able to hang out with my friend Julia and her boyfriend. It was a great way to end the Disney day.

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Me and my good friend, Julia!

I would definitely do a solo Disney day and soon! I’d probably go to do more videos for my channel and to take more photos. I think going anywhere by yourself is good. There tends to be a bad stigma for doing things and going places solo but it is great to spend time by yourself, especially when it is a place you are very comfortable with.

For those who have an annual pass to Disney (or any theme park), I highly encourage you to go solo. You will be able to do whatever you want without having to worry about the opinions of others and to enjoy the parks in a way that makes you happy.

Have you done a solo day at the Parks? I’d love to hear all about your experiences! 🙂

The Reason(s) I Am Still Single…

It has been almost 9 months since my break up and I have people asking why I am still single. So I thought a simple blog post will do the trick.

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Being single is not a bad thing, let me say that. After dedicating almost 4 years to my ex and putting a lot of time and energy into him and our relationship, I felt it was time to be a little selfish (okay, a lot selfish) and dedicate time to myself and getting myself right. Not to say I didn’t enjoy building my ex up, I did, but I spent so much time on him that I forgot to take time for myself. And I think I deserve more than a few months of some TLC.

And I wanted to give myself enough time to get rid of my feelings and emotions towards my ex. I don’t think I’d forget about him because we never truly forget our first love but I needed to get rid of my feelings. All the pain, hurt, and anger I had after the break up needed to go and I did not want to rush my healing process. I deserved to take as long as I needed to heal and move forward. And I feel it would be unfair to the new man in my life if I still have unresolved feelings while being in a relationship with him.

I also figured that I needed time to get my life together again. After my car accident, I have been off of work for 4 months and my life didn’t leave my room and mostly went to doctor appointments. So I have not made myself available because I haven’t been out. Perhaps once I get back to work and get back on regaining my strength and getting rid of my injuries, I will feel a lot better about myself. I think getting myself back on a decent work routine along with my photography business and art will have me feeling like myself. Injuries can take a toll on you and can have you feeling pretty low about yourself. I have not been feeling 100% like me since my car accident and I would love to feel normal again before meeting anyone new.

It is time to take care of me and focus my life on me for a change. Plus, I am barely turning 24, I think I have plenty of time to find my soulmate. But in waiting for him, I shall take the necessary time to work on myself. I know I am not perfect and there are some things that I need to work on, and I think I will be a better partner to my mate if I can handle myself so I am not a complete train wreck when we do enter each other’s lives. I will find out who I am and get myself back on track to where I want to be.

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And this is not to say I do not want a relationship, because I do, when the time is right. But I think there are some things I need to do for myself before I can commit myself 100% to another man. I did it for almost 4 years and a much needed break for some “me time” would be awesome. I am not actively looking for a man either. I want to ensure I am happy being by myself and love myself before I get with someone. I want to be with someone because I want to be with him, not because I don’t like being alone or am trying to fill the void of my ex. That is unfair to both of us and he wouldn’t deserve that.

So, I do not doubt my ability to find a man. Perhaps I just need the time to focus on me and get to where Tiarah wants to be. Get working again, actually go to the gym, work on my photography business, and create more art. My life doesn’t have to stop because I am single. It is barely getting started. And once I am working and out meeting new people, I am sure I will find myself dating again and who knows, maybe even bring home a potential man. But until then, it is focusing on me and giving myself the time I need to recover from everything that has happened.

You don’t have to feel pressured to be in another relationship if you are not ready to after being with your ex. And it is not a race to see who gets in a relationship first. Take the time you need to heal and recover and get with someone who values you for you 🙂

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My College Graduation!

On May 21, 2016 at 3pm, I graduated from California State University, Channel Islands with a Bachelor’s in Studio Art, with an Emphasis in Time Based Media.

 It was an incredible experience. It was something that I worked hard to achieve and it was finally here. After spending 5 years there, lots of hard work, dedication, sleepless days and nights, all nighters, tears, laughter, good and bad memories, I can finally say I did it! Man, I thought I would never see the day, honestly.

I remember back in high school in my AVID class and my teacher Mr. Jennings was reading to us the stats of students who actually finish and get their degree. The number was so low. As much confidence that I had in myself to do it, I didn’t think I would do it as college life was rough sometimes. I am happy to be a part of that percentage of students who graduated. I was an educated woman! An educated black woman, at that!

Getting ready for Commencement was interesting. It was a huge deal to me and an even bigger deal to my family. I showed my 2 little sisters that you can go to school, follow your dreams, and graduate. I was the first born and I had a degree. It was a surreal experience.

I was with my art group the entire time. To be with my fellow art majors as we shared this moment is something I will always cherish. I even saw friends from other majors as well. A unique experience that we all get to share for as long as we live. We all had different experiences yet the same.

The head of our art department, Luke, asked if I would do the honors in leading my fellow art majors into commencement. I would hold the Art banner and lead into commencement. I was shocked and felt honored to do such a thing. To lead my classmates into victory, that’s what it seemed like.

Surprisingly, I did not cry a lot like I thought I was because I am a big crybaby. I think I was in a state of shock because I couldn’t believe I, Tiarah, was about to graduate college. It hit me a few days after, don’t worry!

The president of our school, President Rush, was retiring and we were his last graduating class he would see off. It was awesome to see him go and get a photo with him and everything. To shake his hand and to have a conversation with him about my future plans is something that brings a smile to my face.

So, here are a few photos of my commencement day! Enjoy!

While You Are Single…

Being single. To some it is a depressing state to be in. For others, it opens doors to lots of opportunities, including freedom! But whether you are or aren’t enjoying your time being single, you should take advantage of the time you have not dedicated to a partner.

Let me tell you, when I first became single, I hated it. From sharing my life with someone for almost 4 years to having to adjust to life by myself, it was not my best time in life. But after the initial impact, the pain, and slight depression, I was able to realize that I can now focus on myself and do the things I couldn’t do because of a relationship. When you are in a relationship, a lot of your time and energy goes into that person and you naturally tend to back off on your needs and wants. But when you are single, all of that time and energy that would be invested in another person is now (or at least should be) invested in yourself.

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If you just recently became single, it is going to be a rocky moment while adjusting to just you. Give yourself some time, but not too much that you begin dwelling on it. Focus on yourself. Do the things you have always wanted to do. This is a perfect time to continue on the search of who you are as an individual. Your relationship and why it failed should have helped you grow and learn something about yourself.

Here are some tips on what to do while you are single:

  1. Pick up a hobby. Find something to dive into to occupy your time. If you have always wanted to learn how to paint, take a class or follow along on YouTube. Always wanted to blog?  Now is your chance to start it. Focusing on a hobby allows you to focus on you by doing something you like. Plus, it can open other doors in the discovery of who you are.
  2. Practice lots of self love: Being single can be hard for some, causing them to feel low about themselves. But while you are not loving anyone, love yourself! Give yourself positive self talk and keep yourself happy. Loving yourself is crucial to being in a relationship. You have to love and respect yourself before someone else can. When you love and become in tune with yourself, it allows you to understand who you are and what you want, and it also shows how others should treat you.
  3. Spend time with friends and family: Just because you are single does not mean you need to be alone! You have more time to spend with friends and family. Arrange days where you go out with friends and make a point to make it to family gatherings. Being around people who love and care about you is a good way to keep a positive attitude and to help you feel loved and special.
  4. Immerse yourself in your work/studies and work on skills: Keeping busy is key to getting rid of the single blues. Dedicate more time to work or focus more on your studies. Try to work harder to get that promotion you wanted or strive to impress your professor and get an A in that difficult class. If you have a skill or talent, immerse yourself in those. Hone your painting skills, learn a new way of fixing a car, or how to perfect your secret sauce in your homemade dish.
  5.  Know who you are: Take this time to get to know yourself. I always use the phrase “date yourself”, because that is what it’s like. Do activities by yourself and see how you react. Dig deep and figure out what makes you, you. Understand your likes and dislikes and work on the negatives about yourself but encourage the positives. Knowing who you are makes it easier for you to be sure of yourself and decisions you make. Plus, it helps build confidence being proud of you.
  6. Know what you want: This goes for relationships and life in general. Know what you are looking for in your partner. You should know what you can tolerate, what is a deal breaker, and you need. This will help rule out anyone who does not fit your standards. Know what you want out of life. This plays in your future partner as it determines what kind of life you want, whether that be marriage, kids or no kids, simple or extravagant lifestyle, and so on.
  7. Set goals and how to achieve them: Make a list of goals that you want to accomplish in a year, 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years. No matter how crazy they are, write them down. Formulate a game plan on how to achieve them and get started. Your goals and  how you go about them should not be influenced by having a partner.
  8. Enjoy life and have fun: Sure it can be hard being single when everyone seems to be in love but that does not mean you cannot have fun! Life does not slow down for anyone and instead of sulking and letting it past you by, take action and enjoy it. Plan a trip. Do things that make you happy. The perfect mate will come to you when it is time. Until then, why not have fun while you wait? Get your friends and family in on the fun, too!

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Being single isn’t too bad. Take this time to focus on you and what you want out of life. Trust me, you will be doing what you are supposed to be doing with the right person when the time is right. Enjoy the journey of finding yourself and loving the life you live. Who knows, you may come across your soulmate while on the journey 😉 Stay optimistic!

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Do you any other suggestions on what to do while you are single? I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Apps I Use to Limit Social Media Time

In my previous post, I discussed the affects the social media blues have on me and ways to overcome it. Today, I think it would be great to give off a list of helpful apps I use to limit my social media intake. These work for me so maybe they will work for you!

Social media is a great part of my life. Running my own photography business forces me to be on social media to attract new clients. Even being a YouTuber and blogger requires me to update my followers through, you guessed it, social media. But when I am not doing those, social media tends to ruin my productivity throughout the day and create sadness within me. So after doing some research and app searching, I found these the most helpful for me. Mind you, I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Check to see if your phone provides this app for either Android or IOS.

Quality Time: I love using this app. I installed it a few weeks ago and am still learning to use it. It requires access to your usage tracking to track the apps you use. This app monitors which app you use throughout the day and every time you are on your phone. It tracks how long you used your phone and how many times you unlocked your screen. Going into the app, it shows you the breakdown of the times you were on your phone during the day, and then proceeds to showing you how long you were using that app in that time frame. I enjoy it because I see how much time is wasted being on social media. It also offers the ability to have set modes, which allows you to use certain apps and refrains from the usage of others.

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This is an example of how it tracks your app usage. Clicking the 3 dots gives you the complete breakdown.

Forest: This app is interesting. It keeps you “locked” out of your phone for a certain amount of time by growing trees! It gives you between 10 minutes to 2 hours to grow a bush or tree. The catch is, you cannot leave the app. Once you leave the app, the tree dies and you don’t have a tree. Once your time is completed, you will have a tree. Each day, you are given a forest to grow your trees. It starts fresh every day. Depending on the amount of time you use will dictate how large your forest is. It also shows how long you were productive. It works because you want to grow a tree and make your forest grow but do not want to kill the tree by being on your phone. As of right now, I am using it as I type.

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You can use the dial to change the time. It tells you how long you have stayed focus for and encourages to plant more.

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This is an example of a forest. Depending on the amount your on will show how big your forest is.

Calm: I use this app to mediate with. It helps me focus and relax. I preferably use it at night before I go to sleep but have used it in the middle of the day to unwind. To get the full use of the app, it requires you pay but it works just fine for me using the free version. It has story mode where it will tell a story in soft voice to unwind and drift you off into a good sleep. There are breathing exercises as well. It offers different nature scenes with great sound effects. Mine typically are around water.

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Well, there you have it! Those are the three apps I have been using to keep track of my social media intake. I do hope you enjoy using them.  Tell me what you think of them. Comment below!

Until next time! 😀

Social Media Blues

Social media. It is such a crucial part of our daily lives yet it can take over it. The advance technology we have allows us to connect with not only our friends and families, but with people from across the globe. No doubt social media and technology has advancements in our lives, it can have a few downsides. As with anything, am I right?

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I am guilty of spending too much time on social media. Something about it is addictive, constantly scrolling through the newsfeed and doing it 50 times a day becomes a nasty habit. We are all guilty of this in some way or form. It is a part of our daily lives and separating from it can seem rather scary.

We look at our friends living their lives, sometimes they appear better than our own measly lives we live. That at times can lead to depressing thoughts and the feeling that your life is boring. Social media makes it 10x easier to compare yourself to others, whether that be talents, lives, and physical looks. It is great to look at others lives but do not allow it to consume your mind on why your life isn’t seemingly perfect like your friends. And at times, it can be easy to get sucked into the social media blues, a term I have made up meaning the sad, depressing, horrible, unproductive feelings social media gives us.

I experience the social media blues, and a few weeks ago, I had it bad. I felt myself getting incredibly sad. I think seeing my recent friends getting engaged, planning weddings, buying houses, and having adorable kids was a reminder where I am in my sad love life and brought the horrible feeling of my failed relationship that ended 9 months ago. And that can be a terrible feeling, to feel incompetent in life when compared to your friends who seem ahead of you. I would get upset looking at the highly successful photographers running their own business and I can barely get mine off the ground. Or looking at young artists who seem way more talented than me, who have spent 5 years in college learning art. And I see people having these awesome, incredible, happy go lucky lives where it just seems carefree, compared to my boring, stay at home and binge watch Netflix life.

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Tough, right? It isn’t a nice feeling and unfortunately, a lot of people feel this way, whether they admit it (or even realize it) or not. The good thing is, you are not alone! As social media increases in our daily lives, we must take action in preventing the social media blues. I think it is good to limit time away from social media, for the sake of our mental health, and for some productivity, too! It is easy to get caught up in the social media storm. It starts off with looking at one status and quickly turns into two hours of Facebook stalking your ex best friend’s sister’s ex! Or you begin comparing your life to those on social media.

Luckily, I have a few suggestions to help with combating the dreaded social media blues!

  1.  Limit social media time! As easy as this seems, doing it is something that has to be learned. It is creating a new habit and old habits can be hard to break. In the morning, I set my alarm for 15 minutes. That is how much time I allow myself to be on social media before I get up and start my day. At bed time, I give myself 25 minutes to carelessly flick through social media to my heart’s content. Throughout the day, I give myself small breaks to look at social media but I try to resist being on it during the day.
  2. Find other things to do when you are bored! Social media is something we get on when we are bored. It is an instant activity we have easy access to to keep us entertained. But perhaps find something else to keep your brain busy than looking at Instagram or Facebook every second of the day. Find a book and work on reading it in between breaks. Pick up a hobby, such as painting or knitting. If you just love being on your phone, find mind game apps that will stimulate your mind. You can even buy and download books onto your phone and tablet to read on the go, wherever you are.
  3. Download apps to help keep track of your social media intake! I have a few apps I use to help keep me off social media and that tracks how often I am on my phone. Depending on the phone you have, there are various apps you can use to track the usage of your phone, no matter the app, and will help you keep track. There are also apps to help you stay off your phone and be productive.
  4. Spend time with actual people rather than talking to people on the phone! Yes, we are all guilty of doing this. Why leave the comfort of my house and my sweats and Netflix to talk to you when I can stay here and text you? As great as that sounds, it can do you some good to plan time with friends in living flesh than through the screen. You can create real memories and it does us good to have true human interaction. And when you do go out, stay off your phone, unless you are taking a selfie to document (but limit the selfies to a minimum of 5 :D)
  5. Create a daily plan and stick with it! Start with creating a routine that you will stick to. This falls into limiting social media time. Give yourself allocated time to be on social media freely and the rest of the time, find productive things to do. It will do you good to create a game plan on executing your day. Fill it with as much busy work as possible to limit social media time.
  6. Take a social media break! Yes, I said it! Stay away from social media, whether that be deactivating it or deleting the apps off your phone. Back in college, a group of art students went to Santa Rosa Island (one of the Channel Islands) for a project. It was for two nights and three days but the thing was, there was no signal on the island. As scary as it was to not be able to connect with my family and friends for a weekend, I found it so relaxing to disconnect and focus on nature. We miss so much being glued to our phones, it was  great to be away from it. I came back feeling recharged and actually missed not being on social media. If you can afford to do something like that, I encourage it for a couple of days.

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I hope this helps with the social media blues. You are not alone, for we all get them sometimes. It is okay to disconnect from social media. It is not going anywhere. Try not to compare yourself to others as everyone’s lives are different due to individual experiences. Spend more time actually living your life rather than creating your life on social media.

With that said, get out there and have some fun! Stay tuned for more!