Christmas in Italy

I didn’t take a lot of pictures while in Italy.  I didn’t realize that until recently when I was organizing my hard drive.  I guess I was more focused on getting video footage for my Youtube Channel.  But I like to think I was also trying to be in the moment and really experience the places I saw.  Who’s to say…

Anyway, the few pictures I did take ended up on my instagram but I did manage to take a few while briefly visiting Lugano, Switzerland.

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This place is absolutely gorgeous.  I could literally just sit down somewhere and stare at everything for hours.  I didn’t, of course, because there wasn’t much time but I did attempt to soak in as much as beauty as possible before heading back to Milan.

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After seeing Varese, Milan, Gallarate and Lugano (among a few other nearby places) we headed back to London on New Year’s Eve and managed to get this really nice shot…

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It was a lovely Christmas spent with very lovely people who were all just…lovely.  No really, I felt very welcomed and comfortable even if I didn’t understand the language.  I guess that’s what Rosetta Stone’s for.  (Did I mention I get free Rosetta Stone while enrolled in University over here?  Yeah…think I’ll take advantage of that.)

If you’d like to see how my first trip to Italy was please check out the new video on my channel.

Don’t forget to subscribe and comment!  More travel videos coming soon!

Have a good week!

Don’t Rain on my Parade

Happy for the unseasonally sunny day, I tried to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a run in the park.

Unfortunately – and not surprisingly – the sun’s brief cameo was over before I’d finished breakfast and soon the rain thwarted my plans for a run.  Instead, I ended up staying in, doing homework and watching way too many episodes of Prison Break.

That show is addictive but I digress.

Sometime around 4pm I started to feel restless and decided to take a trip to the Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

 

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

I reached the museum about an hour before it closed so I didn’t get to see everything.  What I did see was pretty incredible so I’ll have to make sure to go back when I have more time to explore the place.

During Christmas an ice skating rink is set up next to the museum.  It was still drizzling by the time I got there but a few brave souls were still skating.  I definitely want to give it a try at some point.  Look how pretty.

Natural History Museum

I’m glad I forced myself to get out of the house despite the fact that rainy weather makes me want to crawl under the covers with a hot cup of cocoa.  But I can’t let the weather dictate my days’ activities.  I have to make each day count even if that means I get a little wet from time to time.

Besides, museums are free here, there’s absolutely no reason for me not to take advantage of that.

 

 

Officially a London Student

After the chaos of my whirlwind orientation day settled down I had a chance to collect my thoughts and the realization that I’m actually back in school finally hit.

London

I’m experiencing at least 50 different shades of anxiety, nervousness and fear but overall I’m excited to have yet another opportunity to go back to school and also explore another new city.  hashtag blessed =)

London is amazing.

I try very hard not to look around in wonder like a tourist but sometimes it simply can’t be helped.  I’m still adjusting.  Haven’t figured everything out yet and I’m not quite ready to give up my trademark shorts and sheer shirts but I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep part of the old me and somehow blend it with the new me to come.

London

Classes start this week.

Already I have a sneaking suspicion that life is about to get truly hectic for the next few months.  I’m OK with that and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it.  But this won’t be like undergrad or musical theatre school.  This time around I’ll actually have to show up for class (sober) and do the work.

Also, I have to maintain a B average.  Not that I ever had bad grades in school but it’s one of the first things they stressed during orientation so I’m assuming they take that sort of thing pretty seriously around here.  It’s a good thing though because I definitely slacked off way too much at NYU.  I plan to make up for it this time around.

I do hope I won’t get too busy to keep up with my blogs and Youtube videos.  I truly hope there will be time to fully enjoy London.  Speaking of which, it looks like bowling and salsa dancing lessons may be in my immediate future.  Additionally, I may have found a free outdoor bootcamp to attend on weekends.  And I managed to find a Black hair supply store as well as a Black hair salon right near where I live.  Yay!

Let’s see what else is in store for me.

 

Outfit / #OOTD

Sweater – The Limited

Scarf – Primark

Cut Offs – Macys

Tights – Primark

The Good Stuff

Sunday starts a new week.  And with that will come a new video – Yay!  But since it’s the first day of Summer I thought I’d do a blog post today and talk about the good stuff.

First of all, I just need to say that I’m getting so much better at acknowledging the good stuff and letting it outshine the bad.  I used to wallow in self-pity like nobody’s business but now my bounce back is a lot quicker and I just have to pat myself on the back for that.  It’s not easy – it takes work for me to stay positive especially given my circumstance.  I totally tip my hat to the people who are just naturally fake sunny but at least I can admit that negativity and  I go way back and can recognize that about myself.

Anyway, here’s the good stuff I want to focus on – I’ve already talked about getting into Grad School, getting a partial scholarship and losing 10lbs.  Yay!

How about I checked my Youtube channel today and realized I’d gone from having 285 subscribers to 315 in about the course of a week?  (Maybe a little longer but I hadn’t checked in awhile so I can’t say for sure.)  That’s awesome to me.  Soon enough I’ll reach my first milestone (500 subbies) and maybe then I can do my first giveaway – wooo!

Have you seen any of my Youtube videos?  Check out Sexy Shit White Boys Say:

If you like the videos, please subscribe and share!

What else can I be happy about?

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Oh, yes, my hair is finally growing!  I’ve been working really hard to get some length and recently I took out my braids and I can see progress!  I’m so excited.  I know there’s this video trend going around where Youtubers are reminding us that outer beauty isn’t as important as inner beauty.  Nevermind the fact that most of these Youtubers range from “super cute” to “super hot,” it’s still a good message and I get that.

I know it’s supposed to be about how you feel about yourself and knowing your own self-worth and having confidence and high self-esteem.  I am re-teaching myself all of that.  But I’m not going to pretend like I don’t look at myself in the mirror and think, “Hey there high cheekbones, you would look even hotter with just a dab concealer and blush,” Or, “What’s up brown eyes?  A little eyeliner will make those eyes pop even more.”  I like my face.  But I also like make up.  So I will continue to learn to use make up on my face.  While I am working on my inner beauty I will continue to enhance my outer beauty.

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Also,  I like having hair that is long enough to offset the size of my head.  So I will celebrate seeing my hair grow.  Yay for natural hair!

Regarding work:  I’ve been making a conscious effort not to complain about working in retail.  It’s not helping my situation.  Instead it shines a negative light on what I don’t have.  Which only attracts more negative feelings.  I found that when I focus on simply being happy to have a job I notice I can get through a workday more easily.  I don’t go home as tired as I used to and I have the energy to write or make Youtube videos.  It’s been a nice switch.

But recently, my hours were massively cut.  At first I was a little annoyed and anxious about how that would affect my ability to eat.  Then I realized this wasn’t necessarily a setback but rather a set up.  I needed that reminder that I’m not supposed to be in retail.  And so with this extra free time I’ve been able to catch up on my writing and videos (which helped me get from 285 subbies to 315) and I’ve also been able to job hunt and work on scholarship essays.  Because I’m still applying for scholarships so that I can go to school in the fall.

Speaking of which – I’ve entered this scholarship competition.   It’s a ‘no essay’ competition – so it’s basically a random drawing.  But the more sponsors I have the more entries I can submit into the drawing which will increase my chances of wining.  If you click the link below you can become a sponsor and help my chances of getting this amazing scholarship.  Is it a long shot?  Probably.  But that’s what I said about getting to London in March – look what happened?

So please click the link – become a sponsor and pass the link on to your friends.

https://www.gotchosen.com/en/scholarship/sponsor/DawnMelissa

Thank you!

I won’t acknowledge the bad stuff today.  I won’t wallow in self-pity. I won’t get angry at the little things that normally annoy me.  I will simply breathe and appreciate what I do have.  There’s so much more to be thankful for.  I know there are many more miracles and Blessings on the way and I look forward to them.

Everything in time.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.

About Grad School | I Got A Scholarship!

In my last video, “Half Year Assessment” I mentioned that I’d gotten into a Postgraduate school in London to study for a Master’s in Media Communications.

I didn’t mean to do this but I kind of glossed over this bit of news in favor of making the point that 2014 is half over and I still have so much more work to do.

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Sigh.

I have a habit of doing this.  I focus on the future and I don’t always allow myself to live in the present.  I also don’t give myself enough credit sometimes.  Also, I focus on the negative instead of the positive way too often.  I hate to admit this but I tend to be a “glass half empty” type of person and it’s such a bummer because I like to think of myself as a “silver lining” type of person.

In this case I really let myself down by not sharing the news of my acceptance into Grad School sooner.  I didn’t even really give myself a chance to celebrate, instead I immediately started worrying about the tuition cost and doing scholarship research.  Not to mention I never went long without thinking of my massive ‘To Do’ list and the other things that still needed to be checked off.

The funny thing is one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be less hard on myself and to give myself a little credit.  I’ve accomplished a lot over the past few months.  No – I’m not a homeowner or a wife or mother and I haven’t sold that first screenplay or even gotten published yet but that doesn’t take away from the things that I have done.  I need to remember that.

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The truth is I’m ecstatic to have gotten accepted into school.  I’m thrilled.  I’m truly truly excited because honestly one of the reasons why I’d put off even applying for so long was because of fear of rejection.  But I didn’t get rejected.

They said “Yes!”

So…yay!  For real, Yaaaaaaay!  I got accepted into Grad School.  In London!  I’m so so so happy and grateful and thankful and all that good stuff.

Also, I’ve been awarded a merit scholarship.  Again, my mind is blown because I had to write an essay in order to be considered for the scholarship and I’d put it off for a long time because essays totally scare me.  But apparently they must’ve liked what I had to say because again – they said, “Yes!”

The scholarship doesn’t cover my full tuition but every little bit helps.

I still have a long way to go to getting to London though.

There’s a $2500 fee (School Registration + Visa application) that needs to be taken care of before I can even think about booking a flight.

And I have about 6 weeks to get that together.

Oh, I do like to hold things until the last minute, don’t I?

Well, I still work in retail so it looks like I’ll have to try fundraising again.  My last Go Fund Me campaign was a success.  I’m still so grateful to all the people who contributed and helped me get to London back in March.  I did not get the internship with MTV but I’m still happy that I made it as far as I did.

Now I want to try again.

So I’ll start my new Go Fund Me campaign in the next couple of days.  I hope you’ll check it out and perhaps consider donating.

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A year in London feels like a dream.  But nothing is impossible so here I go again – chasing the thing I want most.  London.

Once again it feels like it could be within reach.

Free Spirit or Lost Soul?

 

I was explaining a dilemma that I was having to someone and I might’ve thrown in a few choice phrases like, “Maybe I want to go teach abroad” or “I kind of want to be my Masters degree”  or “Marriage is cool but maybe I should date awhile longer.”

I guess I sounded all over the place which was amusing to her.  Strangers typically find that side of me charming.  People who have known me for a long time tend to roll their eyes upward in that “get it together, Dawn” way whenever I start rambling about my own arrested development.

 

This woman described me as a “free spirit”

 

I’d like to think I was interesting enough to be a free spirit.  When I think of free spirits I think of people who go backpacking across Europe with very little to no money who aren’t afraid to take on odd jobs for extra cash, volunteer, talk to strangers, try strange or exotic foods…I daydream about being that kind of person but in my heart I know I’m not.  If I had to be completely honest I guess I would I crave structure.

So I don’t consider myself a free spirit.

 

I think I’m more a of a lost soul.

 

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

 

And contrary to what the moderately attractive supporting characters in those romantic comedies might try to tell you – there’s nothing amusing or charming or even remotely exciting about it.

 

But I’m not going to kick myself while I’m down.  I’m just going to – figure it out.  Somehow.

Open to suggestions.