2020 Year in Review + Thank You

As 2020 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on these past twelve months. This year, many unexpected events occurred; both good and bad. I know that many people around the world have struggled a lot this year due to COVID-19, and this was something that absolutely none of us saw coming.

For me personally, I was able to take a step back and relax, spend time with my loved ones, take care of my overall wellbeing, and start/continue some projects that I had been wanting to work on. I am so extremely grateful that I live with a big family, and they made being in quarantine so much easier. I feel lucky to have them because I recognize the fact that not everyone has been able to be with their families, and some people have had to spend this year completely isolated from everyone they love. This crazy pandemic has affected everyone differently, but one thought that has been helping me through is knowing that the entire world is going through this challenging time together, and that (for the most part) people have been doing their part to stay safe and end this pandemic.

Today, I wanted to share some important moments and milestones that occurred in my life this year. While these events are all positive and exciting, I want to say that I don’t want anyone to think that I am being insensitive to all of the sadness that occurred this year. My heart sincerely hurts for those of you who have experienced pain, loss, and grief this year, and I recognize that this has not been the best or easiest year for a large number of people. 2020 may not have been the year that we expected, but I truly do believe that a lot of good has come out of it. It can be really difficult to focus on the positives at a time like this, but we have to try. I often describe myself as a positive person, so with all of that being said, I would really like to share some of the good moments that I went through in 2020!

  • Went hiking once a month for twelve months

In 2019, my uncle and I decided to try going on at least one hike a month for the year, and we completed that goal. I am happy to say that we reached that goal again for 2020! Every month we found a place to hike; some hikes were more intense than others, but we sadly do not have a ton of great hiking locations in our area. Still, there are some beautiful places to hike, and I really enjoy being out in nature from time to time. It always feels good to get up and get moving, and really anyone can go for a hike or walk! It was especially nice to do this when I felt like I was just in the house for too many days at a time. Some days, quarantining took a toll on me, so I was thrilled to spend some time outside!

  • Celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training

On February 23rd, I celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training! I truly can’t believe that I have been on my fitness journey for over four years at this point, and now more than ever, I am feeling ready to get back in the gym and push myself! Of course, this year my fitness journey took a bit of a turn and my motivation dropped significantly. I persevered and I did my best to continue working out through at-home weight training, HIIT, and even yoga! I began doing yoga daily in April, and I am proud to say that I have not skipped a day since! Yoga really became my main form of exercise this year, and while I do enjoy it, I miss weight training. My gym opened back up in September, but I won’t be going back until I feel safe to do so! I am feeling ready to reach new fitness goals in 2021!

  • Went on my dream trip to France

This was truly the trip of a lifetime for me! I had always dreamed of traveling to Paris, and in November of 2019, an opportunity came my way and I simply couldn’t refuse. On February 29th, I left for a week-long trip to Paris and Lyon! I was hesitant and nervous to go on this trip for multiple reasons, but I am so happy that I decided to go, and I have zero regrets! I am very fortunate to attend a university that allows for students to travel through multiple study abroad programs, and I never imagined I would have the confidence to actually go on one! It was my first time being away from my family for that long, but once I was there, I realized just how ready I was for something like this. I learned to be more brave, confident, and independent. One of my biggest dreams came true, and I was able to check the biggest item off of my bucket list! Click here to read about my trip to France!

  • Traveled locally

Sadly, our big family vacation was canceled this year due to COVID-19. We stayed hopeful, however things had not gotten much better by June (when we would have been leaving). I will not share exactly where we were going to travel just yet, but I am excited to share it with you when we reschedule the trip (hopefully for the summer of 2021)! Hint: it is a country in Western Europe! We safely booked a two week trip to the beach at the end of June, and we were able to get away from home for a bit! At that point, I was happy to go anywhere, because being at home all day everyday was getting frustrating. We stayed in a nice beach house at a private beach, staying as safe as possible. In November, my family and I also went on a weekend getaway to the mountains. Although our original travel plans were canceled, I was very grateful to be able to do some exploring this year!

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday

On July 14th, I turned 21, surrounded by my family and my best friend! It felt really nice to simply dress up and feel special for the day! Every year for my birthday, I always choose to eat dinner at The Melting Pot, which is a delicious fondue restaurant! We hadn’t been out to eat since early March, but we decided to eat out on this day. We did this as safely as we possibly could by going a bit earlier in the day to avoid crowds, wearing our masks, and sitting in a private room. Later on, we had some cake and I opened a few thoughtful gifts. The years seem to go by faster and faster the older I get, but I was never one to be afraid of growing up. I was excited to turn 21, and I am happy to be in such a good place in my life, surrounded by some amazing people!

  • Fell in love

They say that the best things happen when you least expect it, and I can say that this is 100% true. Over the past few years, I’ve really been taking the time to learn how to love myself. It hasn’t always been easy, and it is something I am working on each day. Little did I know that by starting my self-love journey, it would eventually attract the right people into my life. I ended up connecting with someone who now holds such a special place in my heart. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and I wake up every day feeling confident, happy, and grateful, and he is such a big reason why! He is patient, understanding, generous, loving, kind-hearted, funny, witty, and everything I could have ever wanted in a person and more! I have felt things this year that I didn’t even know a person could feel. At one point in time, July 22nd was just another day, and now it is the most special day!

  • Celebrated one year of “Compass to Confidence”

On August 15th, I celebrated one year of blogging on Compass to Confidence! It is so crazy that I launched my website over a year ago now! I remember how nervous I was to put my personal writing out there, but now my words have a home in this world, and I am always very excited to share more content with you all! I have always had a love for writing, and I have big plans for my blog in the future! I want to continue to share my passions, give tips, and inspire anyone who reads my writing to be confident. I am very outspoken when it comes to self-love and self-care because I have directly seen the benefits in my life, and I think everyone deserves to feel this way. I have a lot planned for my second year of blogging, so I hope that you will stick around, or if you are new here, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe, and share my blog with your friends and family! Thank you so much for the support! Click here to read about my first year of blogging!

  • Started my senior year of college

My second semester of my junior year ended differently than I had planned. After I got back from my trip to France, everything changed and we very quickly switched to virtual learning. Although it was a little bit sad, stressful, and even confusing at times, I got through and completed my junior year! I truly can’t believe how fast my college experience is flying by! I’ve been working really hard, and I just recently finished up my first semester of my senior year, and I will be graduating in May of 2021! This is an accomplishment that I am already so proud of, and although I am nervous, I am also excited to see where life takes me after school!

I feel like I’ve learned so much this year about patience, self-care, love and relationships, and even myself. While of course this year was not perfect, I’ve been able to find so much beauty in it. If I’m being honest, I was a bit hesitant to share this blog post because I feared how others would perceive it. I don’t want anyone to think that absolutely nothing went wrong for me this year, or that I never had a bad day, because this wouldn’t be true. But I do believe in expressing gratitude and sharing positivity, so that is what I am doing.

I also wanted to share this blog post to say thank you so much to those of you who read my blog. It means the world to me to have your support! I know in my heart that helping others through my writing is my purpose in life, and I will never stop working toward that goal. Whether my writing reaches ten people or ten thousand people, I will be living my dream! I hope to grow my blog and the Compass to Confidence community. If you are a returning reader, I hope that you will continue to follow me along on this self-love journey, and I hope to help guide you through yours. If you’re new here, welcome! If you are curious as to what “Compass to Confidence” is all about, click here, and I hope you will stick around as well!

Thank you all so much again! I am feeling so positive and hopeful heading into 2021! I know beautiful things are coming our way. I am wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2021, and I’ll be back with fresh and exciting content in the new year! Until next time!

Gift Giving Tips + Ideas for the Holidays

The holidays are coming up quickly and sometimes, finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be difficult. At times, we can start to overthink things, when in reality, it shouldn’t be all that complicated to find a meaningful gift. Today, I wanted to share some of my gift giving tips for the holiday season! Many of these tips are great for those of you who are on a budget as well!

  • Know who you are shopping for

This is probably the most important thing when buying someone a gift. Some people are very specific with what they like to receive, whereas other people are more laid-back and happy with the simpler things. There is nothing wrong with either of these things, however, if you do not know the person well, it can get challenging. Get to know their interests, hobbies, and their likes and dislikes. Even knowing the smallest facts about a person can be helpful. This leads into my next tip…

  • Ask people what they want

Sometimes it can be best to simply ask a person what they want. That way, you know that they will love your gift. If you happen to come across something that wasn’t on this persons list, but you just know they will appreciate it, then that can be great too! I am the kind of person who loves surprises, so if I find something that reminds me of someone I care about, there is a good chance that I will get it for them, even if they didn’t ask. And I love surprise gifts in return! If you are someone who worries about whether or not a person will like your gift, the safest option would be to ask them what they want.

  • Create a budget

If money is tight, and you aren’t able to spend a lot, this tip is very helpful. This is something that you can also create with your friends and family members. For example, if you and your best friend want to give each other gifts, but you don’t have a ton of money, you can try to agree on a price range or a specific amount to spend that works for both of you. This way, you can avoid the potentially awkward moment of giving or receiving “too much” or “too little”. I understand that it can be uncomfortable to speak about money with others, so if you don’t want to do this, then just give what you can. The people who love you aren’t going to care how much you spent on their gifts! They should be grateful and appreciative no matter what.

  • Think practically

Sometimes we will buy gifts for people, and they never end up using them. While it can be fun or exciting to plan out gift ideas for all of your people, try not to get too caught up in the excitement that you go overboard buying things that they don’t really want or need.  Try to think about whether or not the person will actually use this gift often, or if it will end up sitting in the corner of their room for months at a time.

  • Get sentimental

Many people love these kinds of gifts because they speak to the heart, and it is the perfect way to remind someone of how much they mean to you! Whether it is an old photo in a gorgeous new frame, or a book of all of your memories, this person is bound to love it because it is a very thoughtful gift.

  • Personalize, personalize, personalize!

This is always a fun way to make something your own! I recently bought myself a gold bar bracelet and I got it personalized with a very special date. This is a perfect gift to give anyone special in your life. You can personalize with initials/names, dates, coordinates, or phrases/quotes that mean something to you and this person. You can pretty much personalize anything these days, though it does tend to cost a bit extra. If you have the means, this is a great idea for anyone you have a close connection with!

  • DIY gifts

If you describe yourself as crafty and creative, then this is a nice option! Even if you aren’t very crafty, you can still try to make something on your own with the help of YouTube or Pinterest! The ideas are truly endless, and you can get extreme, or keep it simple. For example, grabbing some tools and making your own home décor is fantastic, but so is creating a scrapbook of memories with a loved one.

  • Gift card/money

When all else fails and you are completely out of ideas, or if you just prefer letting people pick out something for themselves, gift cards are something that most people will appreciate! It can be for their favorite clothing store, favorite restaurant, or even their go-to grocery store! This is another surefire way to know that they will love what they get, because they can choose it themselves!

  • Bigger isn’t always better

While it can be exciting to unwrap a giant box on Christmas day, sometimes it’s the smaller gifts that stand out the most. Big gifts can be great, but it doesn’t mean better or more meaningful. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that you were given a gift in the first place.

And lastly, I think it is important to remember that no one is obligated to get you a gift. People are most likely giving you something because they love you and want to see you smile. Material items should never be a top priority, especially at this time of year. But it is a part of the holiday, so I wanted to share this blog post.

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, and as I get older I really recognize why that is. I love cuddling up in warm Christmas pajamas and fuzzy socks, I love sitting by the fireplace and watching festive movies, I love baking holiday treats, and I love giving gifts. But to me, the most important thing will always be the people I share these moments with.  If I take a look back at past Christmases, I do remember a few of the gifts that I’ve been given over the years, but if I am being completely honest, what stands out the most to me is the time I spent with my family.

I hope that you found this blog post helpful, and that I was able to give you some ideas on what to get someone for Christmas! Remember to practice gratitude and show appreciation for those who love you. Thank you for reading! I’ll be back with more holiday content soon!

How to Recognize and Balance Your Priorities

As we get older, it is common to have a lot of responsibilities in all areas of our lives; whether it’s with work, our homes, our loved ones, or even ourselves. It can be overwhelming and difficult to really recognize and balance our priorities when we become busy. Everyday life will continue to pass us by, and we may come to find that we are neglecting important people or responsibilities in life.

For me personally, I have a few different things that I have to do in a week. For example, I am a college student, so I prioritize my schoolwork as well as the work that I do at my internship. I also prioritize spending time with my loved ones. I really enjoy being with my people (this includes family, a boyfriend, and friends), and they mean the absolute world to me, so I want them to know that. I also like to set aside time to focus on my passions/hobbies, whether that’s writing, working out, or spending time in nature. And of course, I prioritize self-care. It is so important to show love to yourself, and this is something that I practice daily.

The first step to recognizing your priorities is to write them down (and you can even try to list them from most important to least). By doing this, you will be able to really see each activity right in front of you, and you may even realize that it isn’t as overwhelming as you originally thought. Ever since I started college back in 2017, I haven’t been able to live without a planner. Most of the time, I only write down school assignments in my planner, however it can be very helpful to have a personal planner as well.

Every day is different. Some days I have a lot to do, whereas other days are more relaxed. There are certain things that I like to do/have to do daily, so sometimes I will write down each task I would like to do for the day. You can do this either on your phone, or you can grab a pen and paper. For example, on Mondays, it’s often a goal for me to do some writing/blogging, take some time for self-care, spend time with loved ones, workout, and write down/begin my school assignments for the week. Of course, I may not cross everything off of this list every day, but I do my best to focus on the most important tasks, and that is what matters most.

I may not be the busiest person in the world, but life can get overwhelming and stressful sometimes. There are times when I feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and I can be hard on myself if I fail to complete every single task on my list. I think that it is extremely important to pause each and every day, and remind yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way. It all comes back to self-care. Take some time out of each day to take a breather and do something that makes you happy, even if that means relaxing and watching your favorite TV show. In order to get things done, you need to be in the right headspace, and you need to feel prepared. This is why I believe planning out your day is so important. Just make sure that you don’t fall into any bad habits, or that you spend too much time relaxing. Balance is key.

The people who love you are going to want to see you at your best, and that is why I always say that you should be your main priority. Taking care of yourself should be a main priority. Only then can you truly make time for other people and other things. If life is getting a bit too hectic and someone asks you do something, it’s ok to say no. It doesn’t mean you don’t love or care for the person, it just means that you need time for yourself, and if that person loves you, they will understand. I’ve always had trouble with saying no, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really recognized the importance of standing up for myself and doing what’s best for me.

I think that for myself, having a routine helps me a lot. I know that everyone’s lives are different, and for some people, each day can look very different, but if there is even one thing that you can do at a certain time every day, this can help. I’ve always been very self-aware, and this becomes more and more true as I get older. I am very in touch with my feelings, and if I’m being honest, I don’t hide my emotions very well. The good thing about this is that I can very easily recognize when I’m reaching a breaking point, whether it’s emotionally, mentally, or physically. There is beauty in discovering more about yourself. There is beauty in alone time. Utilize this time, and get to know yourself.

I understand that it can be difficult to really recognize and balance your priorities. However, when you stop and think about it, it comes down to your attitude, your values, you goals, your work ethic, and your passions. If you find that you are neglecting yourself, your loved ones, your work etc., take a step back and remind yourself of what’s important to you and go from there. We all have our bad days and bad moments, but you have the ability to turn things around. Remember that difficult days don’t last, and you can and will get through them. Priorities can change over time as well, so take the time to learn what they are, and rearrange accordingly. Just remember that you should be a priority to yourself as well. Never forget that a little self-care can go a very long way.

I hope that you found this post helpful, and that you share it with your loved ones as a gentle reminder. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

Where True Love Lies

Love is a very powerful thing. When we think of love, we often think of romantic love. We forget to put ourselves first. Many go looking for love in other things and in other people. While it is great to find love and happiness elsewhere, the most important place to find it is within yourself. This is what will change your entire life.

I believe that so many people choose to take the easy way to finding love, and that is by searching for it in others. Deciding that you want to love yourself is actually a very difficult first step. This is why so many people skip over it. It takes time, hard work, and serious dedication toward growth, acceptance, and self-love. Although it is challenging, I can honestly say that it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I’ve mentioned this before, but loving myself has truly brought me so much joy, confidence, and bravery. Not only that, but I feel that all of my relationships are blossoming in a beautiful new way. Don’t get me wrong, I am not where I want to be just yet, but like everyone, I am a work in progress and that is ok. I am proud of how far I’ve come, but I am not stopping here. I want to continue to grow and better myself. Self-love really will bring you anything and everything you could want in life.

If you go looking for love in other places before looking deep within yourself, there is a good chance that things could turn sour. Insecurity and a lack of confidence can ruin a lot of things that could have otherwise been beautiful. Part of what builds a strong relationship is loving yourself. I truly believe that once you start this journey, you will soon be able to freely give and accept love to and from others. There will be no holding back. What makes this even better? Finding a partner who has also learned to love themselves.

I truly feel that what you put out into this world, you will attract. It all starts with you. Once I realized this, everything changed. For the most part, I have always been a positive and optimistic person. However, when insecurity ruled my life, so many people and things seemed to bring me down continuously. It wasn’t until I made the conscious decision to love and respect myself that I started to attract all of the right things into my life. Some of my biggest dreams have even come true because of it.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with taking some time to learn about yourself. There is nothing wrong with being single. There is nothing wrong with alone time. And there is nothing wrong with you if you struggle to accept yourself. It takes time, but you can and you will get there.

No matter what, at the end of each and every day, you have yourself, and that will always be enough. You should be your first love. I will always be proud of myself for learning that first and foremost. I wouldn’t change a thing because everything has led me to where I am today, and I feel more in love with myself now than ever before. It is freeing. It is powerful. And it is life-changing.

Instead of looking for love in other people or in other things, look inside and you will come to find that the true love you are looking for has always been and always will be yourself. Once you find this, the world is yours for the taking.

If today you let negativity, self-hatred, and insecurity win, you can try again tomorrow. You don’t have to let this pattern continue, and there really is no deadline. Your life is yours, and you can choose what direction you go in. You don’t have to stay stuck. I promise, once you begin to love yourself, everything will change for the better. Take your time growing, loving, and accepting. Remember that your self-love journey is your own, and every day will look a little different. As we go through different phases of life, self-love may look different. This is ok, and it is all a part of the journey. Continue to do your best, and never stop showing love to yourself and to the world around you. It will eventually make its way back to you in ways you’ve never imagined.

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post! I hope that you found this message helpful, and I hope you will share it with someone you care about. Until next time!

The Problem with Overthinking

I always want my blog to be a safe space where I can openly share what is going on in my life. While I love sharing all of the positive moments I experience, I am human and I struggle a lot as well. I always talk about the importance and beauty of vulnerability, and today I am going to be opening up a bit more about my personal life and some struggles that I frequently face.

I have always been an overthinker; to the point where it has stopped me from doing certain things that I have really wanted to do. I wasn’t always so aware of the fact that I was an overthinker, but I would say that in the past few years, it is something I have become more aware of. It can be really difficult to control your thoughts, but eventually you may get to a point when you’ve had enough.

Most of the time, I am a very happy and positive person, however, I feel my emotions very deeply. This means that when I am happy, I am really happy. And when I’m upset, I am really upset. Many would describe me as “emotional”, but I’ve come to accept this as a strength rather than a weakness. As long as you have control over your thoughts and emotions, there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling. When something is bothering me, I let myself get sad, angry, or frustrated. But I try to move on from these negative feelings sooner rather than later, because I don’t want to stay stuck in that mindset.

When it comes to overthinking, I’ve realized I do have a problem. Even when I am happy, I will sometimes start to overthink. This is when it can be most detrimental. If you are overthinking or worrying when you should be enjoying life’s highs, you could be (consciously or subconsciously) sabotaging some of the greatest things you will experience in life.

It is really challenging to turn off those negative thoughts sometimes, but I am doing much better than I used to. I think that recognizing the fact that there is a problem is a really great first step. Every time I begin overthinking or worrying about something a little too much, I try my best to shut down those thoughts. I don’t necessarily feel that overthinking is always a bad thing though. I would say that it’s better to overthink things a little bit than to not think at all. Overall, you should never let negative thoughts take over your life. You will never allow yourself to be happy if you do. Whether it is a relationship, a job, or a once in a lifetime opportunity, I never want to be the person who ruins something good by worrying about it.

Sadly, there is no off switch to overthinking, but there are things you can do to stop these thoughts in their tracks. I think that many people can relate to this, but when I have a little too much time on my hands, that’s when my mind starts racing. I like to keep myself busy when these thoughts come up. For myself, I enjoy writing, dancing, working out, listening to music, spending time with loved ones, and going on walks or hikes. These are activities that I participate in pretty much daily. Not only are these things good for me, but they really do help me get my mind off of anything negative, even if it is just for a little while. School is another thing that keeps me busy. I am in my final year of college and school work does take up quite a bit of my time. You should look for the things that make you happy. Focus on your passions, your goals, and what brings you the most joy, and follow that.

Any time I struggle with these thoughts and feelings, I try to remind myself that I am still growing, and I am human. I am doing my best, and that is all that matters. I don’t believe in suppressing my emotions. Whether they are good or bad, I allow myself to feel, and I think that this is something to be proud of. If you are anything like me and you overthink and worry about even the smallest things, know that you are not alone in what you are going through, and these things do not and never will define you. Just remember that you have control over your thoughts. If you notice that your thoughts are not helping you progress, you need to learn to recognize when you need to back away and focus on the positives. It isn’t always easy, and I have my great days and my not so great days. What matters is how you bounce back and that you are actively working to become your best self. Growth in every form is so important to me, and I want to continue to flourish and become the woman I know I am capable of being. The woman I am becoming does not let negativity cloud her mind, and she does not allow anxiety to rule her life. While these things may still affect me in the future, they will never affect me to this degree ever again, and that is because I am growing and evolving every single day. And I refuse to let stress, worry, or anxiety win.

This has been on my heart for a little while now, and I am really grateful that I have this space to share my thoughts and feelings. I hope that you found this post helpful, and I hope that you will pass along this message to someone who you believe needs to hear it. Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post!

Celebrating One Year of “Compass to Confidence”

Today makes one year since I started my blog, Compass to Confidence! I seriously cannot believe how fast this past year flew by! I remember how nervous I was to create this blog in the first place, let alone announce it to the world. I had never shared my writing with anyone before then. I felt that it was personal and private. While I do still keep some of my writing to myself, I’ve felt more joy by sharing it with others. Being able to help people through my writing was and is always one of my biggest goals. And as silly as it may sound, it feels like a dream come true.

Like many young girls, I kept a journal. I would write about my days, my friends, and whatever popped into my head really. As I got older, I started writing about my experiences as well as important lessons I was learning in life. I very quickly realized how much writing helped me emotionally and mentally. My journal was a safe space for me to comfortably share any and all of my thoughts and feelings.

Before creating my blog, I had a vision of what I wanted it to be as well as what I wanted it to look like. I did some research on blogging as well. From the get-go, I planned on writing about many topics. Based on my research, this was not the best decision for me to make, however I went against the advice of sticking to a specific niche. I wanted to write about my interests, and I have more than one that I am passionate about. Fashion, health, beauty, travel, and entertainment. These are the things I wanted to talk about (as well as some personal writings found in the “Grab a Chair” section of my blog). The reason many people advise to choose one niche is because these are the blogs that are more likely to be “successful” and to gain a loyal following. Well, I decided to go with what I wanted to do. Even if that means that this blog will never take off, I will still be happy sharing my writing with whoever would like to read it. In its own way, no matter what happens, this blog with always be a success to me.

When I first started writing for my blog, I realized that I was no longer my audience. Anyone in the world could be reading my words. While I still wanted to keep my writing personal, I’ve had to learn how to transition my writing from “How is this going to help me” to “How is this going to help my readers?” While people may be interested in my personal life, I think many people would like to read things that not only interest them, but are written for them. That is where I come in, sharing my own tips and advice through my passions.

Although it may seem like I do not have my own niche, I think I’ve come to realize that I absolutely do; it’s self-love. The whole reason I created my blog in the first place was to help others gain self-confidence while simultaneously being on that journey myself. I want to uplift and inspire others. I wanted this blog to become a place where women could come to receive advice, motivation, and a little bit of a self-love boost. Not only did I feel that making this all about self-love would help others, but I felt that it would help me too. This blog has brought so much joy and confidence to my life. And I want myself and my readers to walk hand in hand, so we can guide each other in the direction of self-love. I have been on my own self-love journey for quite a few years now. I’ve seen the beautiful effects of loving myself and what it has brought to my life. Everyone deserves to know this feeling, and I hope that by being a self-love advocate, I can inspire others to start that journey to confidence as well. Once you start loving yourself, everything around you will change for the absolute best. It starts with that first step.

By sharing my passions, giving tips, and inspiring others to become confident, I have crossed an item off of my bucket list, reached a major goal of mine, and followed my dream. I have been connected with some incredible women through social media, and they have been so very supportive of me. It is such a beautiful and powerful thing when women support other women, and I am grateful for all that blogging has brought to my life.

One thing that I have always loved about reading other people’s words is the way it resonates with me. I always hoped someone would read my words, and it would have the same effect on them. I always get so excited to share new blog posts, so much that I constantly talk about it to my loved ones. I really try to share my best writing on my blog, and I am proud of each and every post that I share with you. I’ve grown so much since I first began blogging one year ago. I am very proud of how far I’ve come, and the fact that I chose to share my writing with the world despite being a bit fearful and nervous.

I wanted to share this post with you to celebrate one year of Compass to Confidence, and to say thank you! Thank you to my loyal readers who come back to read every new blog post, and thank you to those who stop by occasionally. If you’re new here, welcome! I hope that you will stick around and walk alongside me on this beautiful journey. I’ve had a passion for writing since I got my first journal, and that spark I had as a little girl has turned into the biggest and brightest fire. It’s a dream that I will never put out. I want to let that fire burn and burn for the rest of my life. It is a passion that I refuse to let go of or give up on. I have many plans and goals for my website, so I hope that you will continue to come back every week for more fresh content.

Thank you so much again. You don’t know how happy this blog has made me. And I can’t even begin to explain the good that has come my way because of it. Here’s to another year of blogging!

(Shoutout to my loved ones. Your support and love means the absolute world to me, and I hope that you are proud of me and where I am headed. I love you guys!)

If you find that your compass points to confidence, I hope that you will choose to follow it. Thank you for reading! Until next time!

The Thief of Joy

I am sure that many of you have heard the phrase, “comparison is the thief of joy.” As I have gotten older, I have realized just how true this statement is. Today I wanted to chat a bit about this topic, because I feel that I have learned a lot about it over the years, and I understand it well.

 I think that it is normal to compare ourselves to others. We seem to do it naturally, and even subconsciously at times. We compare ourselves to our family members, our friends, and even complete strangers on the internet. While a little harmless comparison once in a while is no big deal, it can have detrimental effects if it were to be continuous. But when does it cross that line?

While I was never one to let social media affect me negatively, I think that we can all say that we’ve compared ourselves to someone online before. The problem with this is that some people still do not see that social media is a highlight reel. I do not see anything wrong with showcasing your achievements or your best photos online. I don’t see a problem with sharing great moments you experience in life. I think that we all want to showcase our best selves to the world, and that is completely ok. The problem comes when people assume that someone’s life is perfect simply because they post about the good moments. Even the most beautiful person you follow on Instagram has their flaws. Their life is not 100% figured out every moment of every day. They have bad days, just as we all do. Never assume that someone or their life is perfect. This is never the case.

I know people who share all of the good and all of the bad online. What you put out onto the internet is up to you, but I think we would all be better off if we spread a little positivity now and then. For myself, I use social media as a way to stay connected with friends/family, to find inspiration, to uplift and inspire others, and to share my passions. I never want anyone to think that I am perfect, or that I have everything together all of the time. I like being open and honest on social media as often as I can. It is important to me that I keep my content genuine because people can relate to that. It can resonate with people, and that is all I want. I choose to share content that is more positive because that is what I want to put out into the word. That is what I want my life to be about. I’ve gained the confidence to share my voice with the world through my writing, and social media has helped me share what I believe is my purpose in life. It will always be a goal of mine to stay true to who I am, both in real life and on social media.

Comparing ourselves doesn’t just stop at social media. We do it in real life sometimes too. It is important to remember that every single person in this world has their own unique timeline. If a friend of yours is having a baby, that doesn’t mean that you are falling behind in life. If your younger sibling gets their dream job before you do, that doesn’t mean that you are a failure. If your parents got married at 22, and you are 23 and single, that doesn’t mean you will never get married. Please understand that the right things will happen for you at the right time. We are all living completely different lives. You are your own person, and this is the way it should be.  We all have different priorities as well, so work on what is important to you, not what’s important to anyone else. While a little bit of jealousy is normal, you shouldn’t let it overpower your happiness for those you care about.

Remember to cheer people on. Cheer on your friend who got a raise. Cheer on your friend who is traveling the world. Cheer on your friend who just got engaged. Your time will come, I promise. For now, be happy for other people, and be happy for yourself. Be proud of where you are in your life right now. So long as you are making progress and working toward your goals at a pace that works for you, things are going to take off for you. And when you experience achievements and good moments, the right people will be by your side, supporting you too. And it is important to be there to uplift and support your people when they’re struggling just as much as when they are on top of the world. Be a present friend, girlfriend, daughter, etc. Be there for the people you love.

I hope that this message was helpful today. I think it something that people need reminding of sometimes (including myself).

Thank you so much for reading!

The People You Attract When You Love Yourself

For the longest time, I found myself connecting with people who treated me poorly. I felt like my heart was being taken advantage of time and time again. I used to put all of the blame on those who hurt me, but the truth is, I allowed them to treat me that way. Something I’ve learned over time is that the relationship you have with yourself, affects any and all of your relationships with others. When you don’t love who you are, you are essentially telling others, “You can love me as much as I love myself” and at times, this can be detrimental. At the end of the day, people are going to treat you how you allow them to. For myself, realizing this was a wake-up call.

Sometimes, we get into situations involving unkind people. Whether it is a love interest, a friend, a supervisor or peer, the list goes on. No one likes to be treated negatively. We all want to feel loved and accepted. We all want to find people who treat us with respect and like we are valuable. The problem is, you can’t really start looking for that love in others until you start looking for it in yourself. Truthfully, this isn’t always a problem. It depends on where you choose to focus your energy; on others or yourself. To fully accept who you are is such a gift. I have been taking my time to learn this and I have already been reaping the benefits of self-love.

I used to only focus on what I wanted. I failed to recognize my needs. Now, what I want and need is the same thing. I stopped putting in effort with people who don’t value me, and I broke free from those negative relationships that drained me. I know how I deserve to be treated now, and to rise from what I once felt broke me, is an incredible feeling. Of course, I am still learning and I am still growing. I am in no way perfect. They say that lessons are often repeated until they are learned, and I am sure that I will be tested with negative situations in the future. The difference will be how I choose to react to the situation. Will I let my love and care for others overpower their behavior, or will I walk away with the knowledge that I deserve better?

Self-love is a journey, and it is one that you need to continuously work on. You need to make it your job. It is not selfish to put yourself first when you realize that you aren’t being treated the way you deserve. There comes a point when enough is enough. You aren’t going to want to settle for people who don’t show you fierce and honest love and respect. Walking away from people who mistreat you can sometimes be difficult, but in the end, it is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. Choosing yourself takes courage and strength.

Remember that the right people are going to love and accept you for who you are, all while pushing you to be your best self. The right people will never put you in a position where you question your worth, and they will never let you stay stuck.

I am learning to forgive myself for putting up with people and situations that I once allowed to hurt me. It is hard some days, but looking back, I see so much growth. I have changed so much in such a short amount of time, and I will always be proud of that.

For the past few years, I have been pouring so much love back into myself, and it has truly been life changing. Not only have I been feeling more confident and accepting of who I am, but I have been attracting the most amazing, supportive, and loving people into my life. I feel more at peace and happy with myself and my life than ever before, and I want to continue working hard to make sure this feeling stays.

Everything I shared today has been on my heart recently, and I am happy to put it out there. I hope that you found this message helpful today. If you feel that someone you know should hear it too, I would appreciate it if you shared this post with them. Thank you so much for reading!

How to Live a Happier Life

So many people go searching for happiness. What I have come to realize is that happiness always comes from within. The sooner this is realized, the sooner happiness can begin.

I think that all anyone ever wants is to be happy. The problem is many people do not know where happiness comes from, so they go off to find it somewhere else. Happiness is a choice, and it all starts with you. Every morning, I try to wake up and choose to have a great day. To be happy. Obviously, not every day is a great day, but your attitude really is everything.

I often describe myself as a very happy and positive person. I think I’ve always been like this. I find joy in the little things, and I tend to have an optimistic view of life. This doesn’t mean that I am positive and happy every single day, but that is always my goal.

Today, I wanted to share some ways to live a happier life overall, but I am changing things up a bit. I am really excited because I decided to include a few of my friends and family members in on this blog post! I asked them all the same question: What is one thing you would say to someone who wants to live a happier life? This may seem like a surface question, but in reality, it is extremely deep and personal. I am going to include a few of my family members and friends responses, and my own as well. Keep in mind that these responses are paraphrased, however I included their main point(s). I also included a couple quotes that stood out to me the most. Their answers were brief, but in my opinion, very meaningful.

Here were the responses (in no particular order):

Say positive mantras daily

Whether that is “Today is going to be a great day” or “I am grateful for what I have”. By focusing on the positive things in life and remaining optimistic, happiness will follow. “Never underestimate the importance of recognizing the silver linings in life.”

Love your job

No one wants to spend their lives miserable. We all start somewhere, just make sure you are working hard to get to where you really want to be. They always say that when you love your job, it doesn’t necessarily feel like work. Make sure you’re doing what you love. (This person also mentioned that having a furry friend in your life can bring so much joy as well.)

Let go of your past

Holding grudges will only hurt you in the end, so there is no reason to hold hate or bitterness in your heart. This person also stressed the importance of removing toxic people from your life and forgiving everyone.  Remaining positive is key in her life as well.

Spread more love and less hate

Being cruel and mean will get you absolutely nowhere in life. Love and kindness are powerful. What you put out into the world will ultimately come back to you. Spread love always.

Don’t worry about what other people think

It shouldn’t matter so much what people say or think about you because at the end of the day, your own opinion of yourself should matter more. Focus on yourself and do what you want to do. That is what is going to bring happiness. “Nobody is putting as much effort into thinking about you, as you are.”

Delve into your passions

Focus on your goals and your dreams and work hard to make them a reality. You really can do anything you want in life, and by working toward your passions, happiness will always be with you. Do not let anyone discourage you or make you believe that you can’t accomplish your dreams.

Go with the flow

Sometimes, being a planner (especially during an unpredictable time) can lead to a lot of disappointment. There are going to be moments in life when things will not go your way, and it is important to adapt in these situations. Understand that change is going to come, but know that how you react matters most.

Think positive thoughts

“Your thoughts control your actions and they will control your mind too.” Remember to always remain positive and never let negative comments from others bring you down. Do the things that make you happy, and spread kindness to everyone. This person also mentioned the importance of incorporating meditation into ones daily life.

Surround yourself with family

It is so important to have your loved ones around you. Family should always be a priority, and making time to be with them is what makes this person very happy. Not everyone has a great relationship with their family members, so if this is you, try to find friends who feel like family, and keep them close.  Having good people in your life can help you in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Every answer I received was beautiful and personal to the individual. I found it interesting to see what everyone said because happiness means something different to everyone. Some common themes I found were positivity and kindness. I was very happy to include these people in this blog post because they mean a lot to me.

Remember that ultimately, happiness is a choice. Yes, good things are going to happen and yes, bad things are going to happen. But, at least to me, you can choose how to react to most situations you face. Being happy truly does come from the heart. If you wake up every day, focus on the positive, and choose happiness, I promise, you will find it.

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!