Just like the Frank Ocean song, a feeling that I’ve been going through over the last couple of months is lead-astray. I look at my people my age getting married, finding a career, and being so sure of themselves.
When I graduated college, I was motivated to be better and be ambitious. Over the numerous internships that have led nowhere and the many interviews that have done the same, I lost a lot of the drive I once had.
My outlook on life has also changed in the last couple of months cause I feel like life is fleeting. I realized I am at best when traveling and sharing my travels with others. I wish I could tell my 12-year-old self that you’d be okay and that it's okay not to have it together.
A little story about me is that I struggle with self-confidence daily. I often wonder if society never existed in my adolescence and would have the same mental battles. I have fought in my head daily on why I’m not confident to do this or that. My trust in people to be excellent has always been a fine line. The only real things that let me smile are my books and faith in God.
I don’t talk about faith with many people, but I know my relationship with God is uniquely my own. God has always been the one constant thing in my life. When the roads get windy, God is always the person to make it straight again. Listening to Jack Hibbs every Sunday puts my life into a positive perspective. I often think how a person doesn’t believe that there's a more significant being out there guiding you through the toughness of life.
Romance and manga have always had a special place in my life. Stories, an alternate reality, have always been my escape. I want a creative job because it revolves around a story. The world is made up of stories. Each new book, new tv series, new movie, and new anime all have one thing in common.
I stand here today saying I don’t know what I’m doing in life, and every time someone asks, It conquers so many unfelt emotions. One actual conclusion I’ve come to is to push myself out of my comfort zone. I admit that I’ve become complacent in life with being a hermit who does work from home. I just don’t want to look back at my 20s and be filled with regret.
Tiktok taught me that I’m not alone in life. I feel like my generation is extraordinarily extroverted and a hermit, like me. I hope I find a passion for being 100% confident in my life. I’ve been indecisive, and my greatest fear is failure.
READING, READING, READING, AND MORE READING !!!!
January 2022 was a whirlwind of reading, with many fabulous moments. It was hard to deal with as my family was grieving the loss of a close family member. From a newfound love of formula one racing to finally tackling a series inspired by Gossip Girl, every book I read offered a vast thrill ride.
The first series I finished for the month was the All In Series by Helena Hunting which I now deem the queen of sports rom-com. I spent the last book in the series Kiss for a Kiss and then the spin-off series about the children from Pucked and Lie for a Lie called Little Lies. I love it when the world collides into one series, and it offers so much to break down. It also made me realize how the brother's best friend trope is done correctly. You can see my other blog about the All In series on my blog feed! But I now wait patiently for Maverick to have his romance story!
The next series I started in 2021 and finished this month is called the Dirty Air series by Lauren Asher. I have a post about each book soon, but I can tell you that Lauren is on my top author's list. I also read the first book in her Dreamland series, Called The Fine Print, a Disney adult's ultimate dream romance come true. Rowan, the main guy character, has solidified himself in my top bookmen list. The text bookman is a grump to a softy! I understand that banter in books makes the best reads, and Lauren Asher knows how to make great dialogue.
Another book that does the banter to a T is The Love Hypothesis, which has been on my TBR list for months. If it weren’t because my friend wanted to read it with me, I probably would have never picked it up. Olive is trying to get her Doctorate at Stanford, and Adam Carlson happens to be an unexpected force she never knew she needed. Adam is also a grump-turned softy who finds out he cared for Olive long before realizing it! This one book I can say for sure is worth the hype!!
I was constantly advertised for Darling Venom. When books are heavily advertised, I’m often cautious about how good they are. I would like to say that this book provoked me and moved me in ways I never thought possible. I can only describe it as my John Green Preteen days meeting my mature days off now! It talks about the subject matter of grieving loss and accepting the love you think you deserve.
The last series I want to highlight is the Addicted series. I also started in 2021 and plan to finish next month. The first two books were good but not great, and I had yet to read a series of multiple people based on the same couple. I then read Addicted For Now, which introduced the dual POV to the series, and it changed the whole feel of the series. I will forever live the Cancun trip in the book, and it felt like I was living in the best version of a reality TV show while reading.
I then binge-read Kiss The Sky and Hothouse Flower, the following books in the series. Before I read this series, I didn’t understand how people got so emotionally deep with this character, and now being halfway through, I can agree I’ll be heartbroken when I reach the end. If you love Gossip Girl, you’ll love this series to pieces !!!
Last but not least on my fav reads of the month was Sweet Temptation which is my gateway into the mafia world of Cora Reily. I plan to read her Bound by Blood series soon, so I read this to get a feel for her writing. The book did not disappoint, and I held myself to reading at least one mafia book per month to keep the series alive.
If you want to join my reading journey, my TikTok is mnishy_reads, and my Goodreads account is open to the public. I can’t wait to look back this time next year to see my progress and journey. I can know for sure that I’ve never been in a better mood than when I’m reading.
Helena Hunting: A queen of a sports rom-com
Helena Hunting or as she sometimes writes as H.Hunting is known for her romantic comedies. She is an NYT bestseller and is a prolific blogger in her own right. I go into her writing after riding the wave of the Off-Campus series from Elle Kennedy. I was still hungry for more sports romances and a series called Pucked came along on my research for suggestions.
Now from the title alone, you can suggest what sport the book was going to revolve around and that it was intended for an 18+ audience. What I didn’t realize while reading it was how hilarious the reading experience would be. After reading her spin-off series All In in the same universe I now appreciate Pucked so much more. The Pucked series spans a bunch of spin-off books and sequels. I audio booked Pucked Loved cause it was based on Violet’s best friend Charlene’s relationship with Darren. I can tell you right now that storyline was balls to the wall crazy in all the best ways.
At the time, right after reading it I didn’t think much of the storyline but seeing how the two main characters make such an impact in so many other people’s lives is such a fun ride to read. Violet and Alex Waters become the universal couple that the series and spin-off books revolve around. Life for a Lie which is the first book in the All In series has Alex being the main male character’s teammate and later coach. Rook and Lainey became the couple that really made me enjoy the style of writing that Helena Hunting was bringing to the table. I can’t tell you much about the storyline because it will ruin the experience of reading the book but I can tell you that it would make the cutest Hallmark romance movie ever. The book also deals with a hated trope in the book community in a lighthearted in your face type of way.
From Lie For a Lie to a Kiss for a Kiss, the All In series was an easy read full of great comedic moments. The golden gem of the series is A Favor for a Favor because Bishop and Stevie personify the grumpy sunshine trope. Stevie being Rooks’s sister is a Physical Therapist and Bishop is the teammate that everyone hates that gets injured. Stevie offers her services and the rest is history as they say. I can tell you right now Bishop is one of my favorite bookmen that I’ve come across in comedy settings. I found myself highlighting his dialogue like crazy and laughing at his attitude.
The weakest in the four books was A Kiss for a Kiss because I felt like it was heavier and not as comedic as the other three books. It also dealt with an older couple in life that I can’t quite relate to at the moment. The series as a whole I would rate an 8/10 purely because it’s such an easy and enjoyable read. I admit I marked the first three books up to oblivion because there were so many funny quotes and moments within the story.
Kingston and Queenie is A Secret for a Secret were extremely entertaining cause it was opposites attract mixed in with a series of holy crap moments. I just loved diving into the crazy family dynamic of why families are as messed as they are and how when the daily finally get together it’s a meshing of yin and yang.
If you are looking for a heaver storyline that deals with some heavier topics the Spin-Off about Rook and Lainey son Kodiak and Violet and Alexs’ daughter Lavender is good for you. It’s how the two come to accept each other’s love while dealing with each anxiety. As someone who struggle with social anxiety this book struck a heart cord and gave me all types of feels while reading.
As this is the first sports romance series I have read since the Off-Campus series that sparked my whole reading frenzy, I hope to explore more in the future. I recently got one of my moms’ friends to pick up Pucked so hopefully, she laughs as hard as I did reading the story. Again I can’t reiterate enough how easy-going Helena Hunting’s writing is and how easy it is for beginners in reading to get into her writing style. I now patiently await Mavricks book which is a second book about Alex and Violets kids. I applaud Helena Hunting for creating such an entertaining universe around Hockey.
With a new year comes new goals and a new purpose. We all strive to start something new and keep at it as long as possible. For 2022 though, I want to have this year be a year of practicing the idea of manifestation. The practice to be in the right mindset every day to reach your goals. I want to have a better attitude and strive to make passions into a career.
My first manifestation is to grow my photography business and get my name out there. I want to extend my passion, and I want people to take me seriously. I want to look back at the end of this year and have an established brand. I want customers that reach out to me and find my work excellent. I made a calendar of all my travel photography this year and got so many compliments that it made me want to take it seriously. When I am taking photos, it doesn’t feel like a job. It feels so refreshing to capture special moments in time. If you are reading this, I hope you can help spread the word a browse my portfolio if you have time or check out my Instagram. I would also like to grow my blog alongside my photo journey because it keeps up my writing and helps me share with the world. Whether talking about food, blogging about goals, or even my photo journeys, I hope you come along for the trip.
My second manifestation is to find better relationships with friends and God. Throughout Covid, my relationships with people and friends have become quite depressing, and I don’t exactly know what to do to make it better. I just miss a relationship where I am someone’s go-to person for conversations and hanging out. I want to live out my life and not feel like I’m missing out on life. I get so many people asking me why I don’t do certain things in my 20s, and I honestly just don’t have a life. So here’s to meeting people and growing better relationships.
My third manifestation is going on more solo traveling or with one other person. This past December, I went on a bit of trip to Joshua Tree, and I enjoyed it so much. I love hiking and exploring, so it was a great getaway. I went to many national parks last year, and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. I want to go to Oregon by the end of the year and explore the parks in the state.
My fourth manifestation is finding a job in media because I’ve come to understand that’s what I love to do. I had three internships last year, and I’ve only realized that I love creating content. I hope to work in sports media or small business media in the future. So here’s to expect someone excepts my application is approved.
The fifth manifestation is to try and have a better mindset. I suffer mentally with a lot of self-worth and understanding where I belong in this world. I’m trying to find my place back in faith to keep a genuine outlook on life. I keep seeing people move on in life so fast, and then there’s me trying to figure out what the next month of my life looks like. So here’s to hoping that I can cry less and smile more about the future.
The sixth manifestation is what I started in 2021 and still have not finished. That being bartending school. I was passionate when I started it, but the further I got into it, the more I felt put off by the people. I could have finished in December, but many things happened with a loss in my family and trying to plan a funeral. I don’t start something I can’t complete, so I am manifesting that I will finish and have my certification for the future.
I hope looking at my manifestations helps you clear some clear goals for yourself and that 2022 can be a year you actually smile and look back on. I would say my biggest surprise of last year was getting back into reading cause I hadn’t picked up a non-textbook since the beginning of college. I want the next surprise of this year to be career-related, so please pray for the journey. Your support can be as simple as commenting below your thoughts or just saying Happy New Year. I hope everyone has a blessed year and knows that this blog is just as its starting phase.
My letter to 2021
The year that gave a lot of memories, some good and some bad. The year I realized that the working world is extremely hard to break into and that the twenties are a time to figure out your life's path. My motto going into 2021 after 2020 was ‘go and explore because life is too freaking short.’
Dear 2021 thank you for the traveling memories and everything that you gave me. I got to do the wildest of hikes and explore more of So Cal while doing so. From Utah to the tip of Maine I got to travel the United States and get a bigger perspective of God's green earth. I didn’t get to go to Spain but I gained a camera full of memories and adventures to never shut up about. I also got to profill my lifelong goal of going to Orlando, Florida which is a win in my book.
Dear 2021 thank you for giving me all the family memories and realizing how important it is to be around the people they love. At the beginning of 2021, I didn’t think my grandparents would be coming to my brother's delayed wedding. Low and behold though almost my entire family came out to the special occasion and it made me so incredibly happy. It was the month of July that made me realize the importance of being around the people you love.
Dear 2021 thank you for understanding what it means to keep on pushing. 2021 will always be significant to me because it's the year I graduated from College. My college experience was extremely underwhelming and it made me realize what it meant to fully live out your life. I, unfortunately, will only have a brief set of memories for my college life and I can’t say they were all good.
Dear 2021 you gave me my dream car. I’ve dreamed about owning a jeep since I was 12 and I can't believe I am a proud jeep owner. I want to use it to explore the world and be an off-roading queen. I can’t wait to create memories in such an awesome car.
Dear 2021 thank you for letting me get through the rough moments. To be honest I’ve never been so lost in life. I don’t know what direction to go and I have been trying to get back into the church in hopes God can give me the answer. I applied and lost so many times and I hope I come out winning one of these days.
Dear 2021 thank you for letting me explore new passions. A year ago if I told you I read 40 plus books in a year I would have laughed. I am now officially book obsessed and TikTok isn’t helping me out with the numerous recommendations it gives me every day. I also realized how much I love to create videos and TikTok has allowed me to explore a different side of content creation.
Dear 2021 you let me turn 22 years old which is an odd age for me to turn considering I was singing 22 by T-Swift when I was 12 thinking I’d never get to this age. The twenties is such an odd time to be alive considering mentally sometimes I feel like I’m still stuck in my teens. I’m now realizing that teens see me as old and that older folks still see me as young. All I can say is what a weird time to be alive.
My message to 2022 would be to keep searching for your purpose, keep pushing, and keep your head up high. My parents keep telling me that things will work out in God's timing and that it takes time to land. I guess I’m a little lost and a little impatient cause I don't know where I’ll be this time next year or even in a month. I guess I just don’t see a point in working a job that makes you feel trapped and pays the bare minimum. So as I am posting this I am manifesting that by the end of 2022 I can find a career job or make my passions into a proper career.