OVERCOMING THE IMPOSSIBLE: MAINTAINING A RELATIONSHIP DURING COVID

Hey friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve written and being honest, I needed to find my way back. Life has been a roller-coaster and I’ve been dealing with a whirl-wind of emotions.

This post is kind of just going to relieve some stress and anxiety I have been feeling. I was wide awake at 3am the other morning, staring at the ceiling, trying to fall asleep. I’ve been restless. My sleep schedule seems non-existent these days. With everything going on in the world right now it seems difficult to get back on track. I am trying my absolute best to maintain a positive light.

Apologizing in advance if this post seems all over. I am just going to write some thoughts. I have found myself giving people countless chances, finding it in my heart to forgive even if every fiber in my body is telling me not to. Giving people multiple chances to change requires trusting they will make those changes. I’ve allowed this numerous times in my life especially over the course of the last 2 years. I try my best to be a good person. However, some people should be forgiven not because they deserve it, but because you deserve peace. Some people do have the ability to change. Others not so much. Being a kind person who is forgiving can be a downfall. People can see this as a weakness and assume because you are giving them another chance, they can make the same mistake twice.

I have been feeling drained and numb all at once. The emotions I feel overcome me as I try to make sense of my world. Something I’ve wanted and tried to salvage has come to an end and I am trying my best to be okay with it. At first I thought the greatest acts of love were forgiveness and sacrifice. As cliche as it may sound it’s like the saying goes, “If you love someone let them go, if they return it was meant to be.”

I’ve been taken for a fool. I give so many chances and the other person does not understand what it took for me to give them that next chance. I’m disappointed in myself honestly. The signs are always there and we can choose to see or ignore them.

Forgiveness is tough. You may not want to, but you can when you’re ready. It takes time. It’s hard being the bigger person sometimes. We may have too much pride to do so.

I just want to breathe again. I have felt suffocated for so long. I just need to trust the process and remind myself that things will get better. If something does not work out as planned, there’s most likely a reason. I should not force things. I should not blame myself for that.

I choose myself. I choose to move forward. I choose to leave the baggage behind. I choose to fight for me. I choose to fight for my happiness.


I’m writing this post to make sense of my world right now. I am somehow coming together and shattering at the same time. One door closes and another opens. You can forgive others and find the strength to move forward despite the pain they may have caused you, but it’s going to hurt. Sometimes our heart and mind are at war. You know what you need to do, but what you feel in your heart holds you back.

I’m unsure of how I have let things get so messy. COVID has really impacted my relationship and every other aspect of my life. My relationship has been put through the ringer. As I navigate the waters, I have come to learn that the little things are in fact the big things. When you are living with someone, you really learn the ins and outs of the other person. You learn their pet peeves and what makes them tick. When the little things are overlooked or not even considered as significant, this can cause issues.

You can give your absolute everything to someone and they may not see how drained you have been with working through the hard stuff. COVID has really tested my relationship as I’m sure it has done to others too.

Sometimes it’s best to walk away. You may love them and still do, but sometimes you need to take some time for yourself to recuperate. Your health and well-being are the most important and if they are compromised, you need to just keep moving forward.

It makes me emotional because I’ve thought about how things were in the beginning and as time progresses, things get tough. Somehow the person you once knew is no longer there. It upsets me because it feels like as soon as one thing in life pieces together, something else falls apart.

But I pray.

I’m done feeling guilty and sorry for myself. I am tired of making excuses.

I hope COVID comes to an end soon because it has taken a lot from me. Screw you, COVID. You will not take anything more from me.

Until next time blogger friends,

Ms. Dakota

This Is Your Daily Reminder To Take Care Of Yourself

For the longest time, I have allowed other’s opinions of me sway my decision making. I have allowed them to dictate to me how I should live my life. Well, I say no more. I have let my wants and needs be pushed to the side because I was listening to everything other people had to say. Self-care has become so important to me over these last 2-3 years. If I’m being completely honest, I still care too much about what others think and I wish I didn’t. I wish I was one of those types of people who did not worry about everyone else. I should be concerned about Dakota. I will be 25 this year. That’s crazy to say, but life is flying by. As I grow older, I have become more in tune with what truly makes my heart happy.

I have let my health go down hill. I have not been listening to my physical, mental, or emotional health. I have felt like I have been making myself sick trying to take everything on at once.

As depressing as this may sound, at the end of the day you need to take care of yourself. It’s like the saying goes, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” You cannot help others unless you are taking care of yourself first. Most of the time I want to throw my phone away and let go of all the baggage. Let go of the one thing keeping me connected to those people who make me feel less than. Who is going to take care of me god forbid I burn myself out?

I have decided to listen to my body, my heart, my mind, and soul. I want to do what makes me happy. I decide to put myself first. I have worn myself out trying to help others. My 20s should be about enjoying life before the responsibilities really slap me in my face. And I feel like I am not enjoying my 20s. I am always stressed, always overwhelmed, always feel like I’m somehow failing at something no matter how hard I try, or I’m always worried about something.

Who is going to take care of me? I’ve been doing lots of thinking about helping others. You should still maintain kindness and compassion for those around you. But there comes a time where you have to draw a line. Many people confuse kindness for weakness and this is not the case. I have tried helping others to the best of my ability. But, I’ve been taken advantage of to a certain extent and so I say, NO MORE. I am finally putting myself first and it feels pretty good to say.

I’ve been at war-with my former self and the person I still wish to be. Life can be so overwhelming sometimes. I have fought silent battles, big ones others had no idea about. I’ve cried silently to sleep and have felt like a failure with so many things.

But now, I take back control of my life. I’m tired of worrying more about others feelings and opinions instead of my own. I should listen to my instincts and mine only. I have come this far. I am sick of allowing others to have so much power over me because it does not matter what you do in this life, someone will always have something to say. What truly matters is how you view yourself.

I guess in simpler terms what I’m trying to say is take care of yourself. Follow your heart and believe in your abilities. Do not be so hard on yourself. You have come this far and you have only scratched the surface. Be proud of how far you have come. Your body has carried you through far worse. So whatever you are dealing with now, you can certainly get through it. Do not feel guilty of taking breaks when you so desperately need it. Burning yourself out trying to please everyone else will get you nowhere.

Live YOUR life because before you know it, 10 years will have passed you by and you realize you are bitter because you did not do what you wanted when you were younger. It is easy to put things off until tomorrow because we think we will have more time. But the truth is, life is too short and time can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.

I want to live a full and happy life. So yes, I take my life back. I am doing what makes me happy. Others will still have opinions of me and judge who I’ve been or what I choose to do in this life, but I am strong. I will make it through. And if I fail at least I know I tried my very best. That’s what truly matters.

Until next time friends,

Ms. Dakota

HOW DOES ONE MANAGE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER AND FAMILY?

The sun is out. Everyone in the house is asleep and the silence is peaceful. I made myself a fresh cup of coffee and sat down to write. I stared at my blank screen for a while trying to decide what to post until the idea hit me. I remembered something my dad said to me once. He said, “If you had it all, the money and success, but no family, would the success really matter?” It got me thinking.


My dad read an article and shared his findings with my mom and me. He read about how a well-known actress, name not remembered at this time, who made it to the big-time. She had loads of money, houses, cars, people working for her, etc. I mean that’s what we all want right? To be successful and make it to the top? She had all the money she could ever want. But what she did not have was a family, a loved one to hold in her arms, or children to call her mom. She felt successful in her career, but empty in her personal life. It makes you think doesn’t it? I am in my 20’s right now and I like to think I am selfish with my time. This is the age where I go after my goals before life and responsibilities get in the way. That has always been a fear of mine. That I would grow older and not have chased my dreams and be bitter about it all. But that is not the point of this post. It’s a tough situation. Should we chase our dreams and put relationships on the back-burner, or follow a loved one, but sacrifice our dreams in the making? Is it simple to have both? Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of One Tree Hill, but for all my fellow fans out there, let’s evaluate the relationship of Nathan & Haley Scott. Nathan wanted to pursue a professional career in basketball and Haley wanted to make it as a singer. They got married in high school and soon realized making the relationship work while chasing their dreams was not what they had originally planned. Now I’m not saying love is like a CW TV series, but isn’t there some truth in that?

Here’s another thought. Does it make one selfish if they still want to chase their dreams even with a family? Life flashes by in the blink of an eye. Before you know it “later” is here, you are older, and time is running out. It sounds depressing, but it is true. Should you seek a career first, not making love a priority, and end up like the actress I mentioned in the beginning of the post?

When you find love, no matter when it enters your life, you should cherish it if it’s worth fighting for. And the right person will help you chase your dreams. Marriage and kids is a beautiful thing. Does it make me a bad person to say that I want to tackle my goals before I settle down? I feel like when you start a life it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your responsibilities. But doesn’t this lead to resentment? You grow bitter and cold towards the ones you love because you did not accomplish what you wanted. My apologies for this post being all over the place without a clear topic, I am just writing as the thoughts roam around my mind. Relating it back to One Tree Hill, let’s evaluate Dan Scott, father of Nathan, who ruined his family for the sole purpose of him not making it as a pro basketball player. His own hatred of himself flooded into his marriage and his relationship with his son.

I guess my main concern for this post is this: how can one do it, manage a career, chasing one’s dream(s), and being able to start a family? Now I know this post probably sounds irrelevant because lots of people have done this. Here’s an example from my own experience. It took my mom 6 years to finish a 2 year degree because she had to work 3 jobs to raise my brother. My mom left his dad and met mine. At the time, she hoped to pursue nursing or join the NAVY. But then she had me and all her hopes had gotten flushed down the drain. She never went back to school because she now had 2 kids at home. She has mentioned to me several times before that she does not regret having children. She is a strong believer that her life panned out the way it was supposed to. We may plan for certain things to happen, but life is in control.

What is more important? Career or family? Now I know this seems like an easy question to answer. You can chase your dreams until you accomplish every single one. And you feel successful for a moment. But moments are fleeting. How long will that moment of accomplishment last? We chase our dreams for years, sometimes we make it, and other times we do not. But when we do, we realize in the mean-time, we sacrificed having a relationship and starting a life.

It’s a tricky situation. Some people find solace in their work. Others find it in their families.

I hope I am able to find the balance between both.

Until next time friends,

Ms. Dakota

Reminder to Self: Perfection is Unobtainable

Hey friends! I know it’s been a short time since I’ve last written a post. Life has gotten the best of me as of late. I have been sick, first with a cold, and then with a stomach bug which seems to be going around. School has also been stressful lately as I am currently enrolled in a course where I am overwhelmed with assignments, and just trying to juggle my time between coursework and other life responsibilities.

I am a perfectionist. I try to do and be the best at everything. I am very competitive and I do not like to lose. I try to juggle everything at once and I overload myself with too much. I make a list of goals and instead of doing one by one, I try to do them all at once. I would like to refer to one of my favorite books, The Great Gatsby. Often times I feel like Gatsby searching for something I will never obtain. In my case, I am not searching for love like Gatsby, I am trying to obtain perfection. With my competitive nature and my constant need to be or do the best, I make myself sick. I do not handle stress well either.

So for this blog post, I figured I would discuss the importance of self-care and handling one goal at a time. It is quite simple for us to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily routines. We run through the list of things we need to do as soon as we wake up. Or at least I find myself doing this. Sometimes I’m not even out of bed yet and I am already worried about the long list of tasks I need to complete.

Sometimes life can really get the best of us. It is hard to remain motivated especially when we face failures or adversities. This is why it is imperative for us to always remind ourselves of how far we’ve come and how much we have accomplished. It is easy to look at the things we have not done as opposed to recognizing what we have done so far. We have to give ourselves a much needed break once in a while. We have to make sure we are practicing self-care.

During this pandemic, I have been struggling with maintaining a positive mindset as others have as well. I think it is important to take time for ourselves. On top of trying to to tackle everything on my to-do list, I have been wearing myself thin with trying to do a lot for everyone else. I rarely make time for myself. I have made the mistake of putting my health on the back-burner for quite some time now. I have not listened to my body or what my mind or soul needed.


I recently got back into a consistent gym routine and I look forward to going everyday now. I have given myself a break with school-work and by that I mean that I try not to do all my homework all in one shot. I space it out and pace myself. I try to fill my days with what I like to do. I also have been trying to engage in more self-care by caring for myself more. I have started a new skin-care routine, I try to treat myself to mani/pedis, and I take time to do things I enjoy like reading, writing, or watching a favorite show on Netflix. I also like to shop so sometimes I treat myself to a shopping spree. I have noticed changes in my mood and overall well-being when I have chosen to focus on myself. I have been more positive and feel more like myself.

I am focused on my health & well-being. I want to make sure I am making myself a priority. It’s like the saying goes, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” I still try to remain kind and help others when I can, but I’ve listened to what my body needs right now. That is to take better care of myself and to stop trying to obtain perfection in everything I do.

It is okay to make mistakes. How else would we learn? This will not be a long blog post, but I want to end on this note. Sometimes we have to stop and remind ourselves that we need to cater to our needs. Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish. We have to be selfish with our time, energy, and focus. If we invest our time on something and we are not profiting in any way, shape, or form we should re-evaluate where we are focusing our time.

It is okay to have goals and want to tackle them. But we should remember that things take time and as much as we may want certain things to happen, life happens the way it is supposed to. So I guess what I’m saying is focus on you, your health, well-being, and what makes your soul happy. You only get one life. Set realistic goals and expectations and take things day by day. You are doing the absolute best you can. Believe in yourself.

Until next time friends! 🙂

Blessings,

Ms. Dakota

Be Your OWN Biggest Fan

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” ~Auggie, Wonder


I strongly believe in this statement. Some of us just want to hear, “I’m proud of you and everything you have accomplished.” We want to feel acknowledged and appreciated. We work hard and it would make us feel good if someone noticed that. I find myself often searching for this sense of approval from those around me.

I’m still learning everyday how to work on this, how to be secure with myself. Although it would make me feel good to hear someone acknowledge my efforts or how much I’ve done, one should be secure enough with themselves to know that they do not need the approval. Others can sometimes give us the approval we are searching for. Or they may not. They may disregard all of our efforts which causes us to continue searching for approval we may never receive. Almost like Gatsby in The Great Gatsby. He consistently searched for the approval, validation, and acceptance from Daisy, which he never received.

We should not place our self-worth in the hands of others. One should be secure with themselves that approval should not determine their level of self-acceptance. It is common for one to ask friends and families for their opinions on certain matters. However, you only get one life, so you need to live for you. Sometimes those people may have your best interests at heart, and maybe they do not.

I should take my own advice more often, but I also care too much about what others think. I want to be accepted by most. However, I’ve come to learn that the only important thing that matters is how you view yourself. No matter what you do, people will always have opinions about your actions. Therefore, we should only surround ourselves with people who do have our best interests at heart. They acknowledge our improvements and offer healthy criticisms when needed.

Especially during the pandemic, it is CRUCIAL to surround yourself with positivity and remain consistent with improving yourself whether it be reading or writing more, exercising more often, meditating, etc. It is easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and become overwhelmed with everything. But if we continue to work on ourselves and surround ourselves with likeminded and positive people, we will prosper.

Even if we are applauded or acknowledged as Auggie mentions in the movie Wonder, we should still not lose sight of ourselves, our goals, or the direction we are headed. Moments are fleeting. We are acknowledged for a brief moment and yes, it makes us feel wonderful. But in reality, people will forget that great thing you did a couple days thereafter. The point here is, without getting too depressing, embrace the acknowledgment, but never lose yourself while searching for that approval.

Life is too short. That has been evident throughout this entire pandemic. We can be here one day and gone the next. Don’t mean to be depressing here, but it’s the truth. We should work towards our goals, make memories with those closest to us, and cherish our loved ones.

But bringing it back to the main point of my post here, never let the approval or non-approval influence how you view yourself. Yes, it would make us feel worthy to be acknowledged for our hard work. But we should work hard regardless to reach our goals not because we want that approval.

And with that, I end this post on the following note, you are worthy. You are doing amazing things and you are noticed. Even when you aren’t, be your own biggest fan. Celebrate those victories, whether big or small. Keep crushing those goals. Do something today that future you will be proud of! Make yourself happy!

Until next time friends,

Dakota 🙂

The Future Is Unpredictable, Live For Right Now

Hey guys. I’m back again with a post. I’m sitting here at work, bored and hungry, and figured why not put up a blog post to use my time productively? It seems like I’ve been getting the bulk of my writing done at work. But whatever, I’m not complaining. Writing gets done when it gets done.

I opened my Instagram up for the first time after not having it for like 6 months. I needed a break. I’ve grown apart from social media and only use it now to keep in contact with loved ones or to share my work with the writing community. I really feel like social media is too heavily relied on and many people take it too seriously. I get it. We live in a time where social media is how people communicate, it’s how people grow their business, cool. I can understand that. But, what I do not understand is why people are so caught up in their phones. There are so many other ways we can spend our time like moving our bodies or feeding our brains.


We can be here today and gone tomorrow. Life is flying right on by. I came across an Instagram story recently and found out someone I knew from my high school years had passed. It’s devastating to think about because she was my age. We often take time for granted because we think we will have more of it. We are wrong. We should spend more time with our loved ones and use our time wisely. Imagine what you could do with the time you waste scrolling through social media? I’ll admit that I’ve done this and I’m not trying to come off as a hypocrite for doing so. However, I wanted to put up this post and explain why I’ve changed and how I’ve matured. I used to spend lots of time on Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook. I thought putting your every move on social media was the new cool, whether it was posting your meal, or the day you had at the gym, etc.

The last 2 years or so have been a whirlwind and over the course of them, I’ve done lots of self-reflecting on my past mistakes, who and what I want to become, and the goals I still wish to achieve. I’ve lost many people over the years. People I loved and deeply cared for. I’ve lost family members, friends, and people I thought would be around for much longer. I believe in the value of a moment and creating memories with those closest to you. I don’t care for materialistic items or how much money one has. I care about creating life long memories. I’m not trying to get too depressing here, as this is meant to be an uplifting post, but when we all go to the afterlife, wherever that is for you based on your beliefs, what do we take with us? The memories or all the cars, purses, jewelry, etc. that we bought?


I’ve put my faith in people and have been let down. I’ve been vulnerable and loved people as best I could. I’ve been beaten, bruised, and defeated. I’ve faced countless adversities and have had people turn their backs on me. But I managed to rise through it all. I overcame my adversities. I am a fighter. This is how I was raised. To go in for that last round even when you don’t think you can.

I’ve held grudges. I have let years go by without talking to people over something they did during our childhoods. I’ve spent months even years not speaking to friends over minor arguments we had. We are human. We feel things. I feel things very deeply and that could be a good and bad thing.

But if there is anything we can learn from 2020, it’s this. The future is unpredictable. We can be here today and gone tomorrow. So I leave you with this.

Cherish your loved ones. Hug them. Let them know you love them. Be kinder. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive people so you can allow yourself to find peace. Work towards your goals. Use your time wisely. Call your parents often (I moved out at 22 and still call my parents everyday). Check in on your loved ones, especially during the pandemic. Do lots of self-reflection. Meditate. Focus on your health & well-being physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Life is too short to be unhappy. I know this sounds like a total cliche, but it’s the best I’ve got right now. Tomorrow is unknown. Do your best today. Live in the now. Plan for the future yes, but live for right now.

I am still learning. I am improving. I am evolving. No one is perfect. I still struggle with doing some of the things I’ve mentioned above. But if you try to do and be better, this is what counts.

Well friends, that is it for this post. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

Until next time,

Dakota 🙂

Back From My 2-Month Hiatus: Self-Reflection During The Pandemic

Hi there! Well, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted. 2 months total, I believe. What can I say? Life is busy. School demands lots of my time. I needed to take a break from my non-essential work and focus my time & energy where it was most needed. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You think your blog is “non-essential?” I know I have my followers and I appreciate you guys more than you know, I really do. Thank you for the support through it all. You guys are the best, especially the writing community on twitter. One of the best groups on social media, hands down. I’m sorry I’ve been absent. But this post will explain a little more of what I’ve been up to the past few months in quarantine.

So I live in Charleston, SC and everything pretty much opened back up. We have to wear masks of course, but it’s been pretty laidback. People are extremely happy to get out of the house again. I know I am. I’ve gone back to a gym routine and I’ve been spending as much time as I can with my pup, taking him on walks & doggy play dates. (He needs to get out of the house too, he’s a breed that loves to be outside.) He is a German Shorthaired Pointer and for those who do not know, those are hunting dogs. DJ is super hyper, playful, loves to jump, chase squirrels, frogs, and bark at birds.


It is safe to say many of us have gone through various obstacles and things have just been rough to say the least. Almost like we feel like giving up. This pandemic has led to a whirlwind of emotions. It has been a full-time job trying to maintain overall health & wellbeing. At first, I was content with staying home. I felt like it would give me a break, allow me the chance to spend more time with family, and just unwind a bit by taking time to do self-care. Well, how quickly that all fell apart. I started to realize I was more stressed out, I felt like a bird locked up in a cage who just wanted to be set free. I missed interaction with friends and just enjoying the outside world. We often take everything for granted and realize how fortunate we were when it is taken away from us. My fiancé and I quickly learned we needed space from one another. My pup even realized things changed because he was in the house more. My fiancé works from home & I go to school online. So you can only imagine what it was like being around each other 24-7. I think other couples can agree they have felt the same.

When quarantine first started, I made a promise to myself to do everything I always felt I didn’t have time for. I would learn American sign language, read & write more, and just learn a new set of skills like maybe another language, etc. But motivation has quickly fizzled out. Some days I’m productive and others I can barely roll out of bed. This is okay. Our bodies and minds need rest. We don’t want to take on too much at once. I think that is my issue. I try to do everything at once and I burn myself out. I’m still learning how to pace myself.

Although I’ve been facing my own obstacles, I’ve done my absolute best to check in on friends and family to make sure their mental health was okay. But I cannot say they did the same for me which is extremely disappointing. It is always those closest to us that let us down the most. There have been days during this pandemic that I have felt absolutely defeated and hopeless. I do, however, want to thank those closest to me who have reached out and checked on me. That is what true friendship is all about. I’ve made sure to call my parents everyday since they live up in NY.

I think of it this way, “not receiving a message is also a message.” It is totally understandable this pandemic has impacted many people across the country, but taking 2 seconds out of your day to text a loved one to see how they’re holding up really goes a long way. I give people the benefit of the doubt and come up with so many ways to defend them, thinking of why they could possibly ignore or not send a text. But there is no way to explain or defend someone who is just being a crappy human being.

This leads me to my next point. You can be civil. You can try and maintain relationships with people. You can communicate until you’re blue in the face. And somehow it is never enough. I’ve learned over time that I’ve been watering many dead plants and by that I mean, I’ve been trying to salvage one sided relationships with people. I believe in any relationship whether romantic or a friendship, it is a TWO-WAY street. It takes two to tangle. One hand washes the other. Okay, you get my point. With this said, toxic is toxic. It has hurt me to cut so many people off, but it is for my health and well being. And you know what else? I do not owe anyone explanations for my decisions. They are entirely my own and I am justified in making them.


I’m still learning. I’m still evolving. Growth is an ongoing process. I am not perfect. I try my best. I learn from my mistakes. I try to be the best version of myself that I can be.

My fiancé and I talk about this often. He always asks me, “how come you do not try to be more social and make friends?” He means this in the kindest way possible, don’t get me wrong. However, here is my explanation. I am at a point in my life where I am very selective with my time, energy, and my selection of “friends.” I’ve had to cut off family members for the sake of saving my sanity. So I have absolutely no issue with admitting that yes, I do not have many friends, but that is how I choose to live my life. I choose to have few in my corner. I would rather sit with 3 genuine and sincere friends than at a table with 100+ people who I do not even know the names of. My fiancé is very personable. So am I. But it takes a lot for me to consider someone my friend.

Especially during this pandemic, I have learned a lot about people. I have seen who is truly there for you and who is not. I have gone months without talking to some of my closest friends. I’ve spoken to others almost everyday. Like I said, it takes two to tangle. Therefore, I’m done reaching out to those who do not even see if I’m okay. I do not waste my time nor should I have to. The crazy thing is once you stop reaching out, it is the same people who have the nerve to say you don’t reach out or talk to them anymore. Yes, because of YOUR actions.

It has taken me a lot of time, energy, patience, and emotional roller-coasters full of tears, yelling, and depression to get to where I am today. I have worked hard to get to where I am now. I have gone through the wreckage to reach the level of peace and tranquility I try to maintain in my life. And when people disrupt that balance, they can no longer be a part of my life.

These are very trying times. I’ve found myself to be a ball of stress in a constant state of panic and anxiety. But I have found ways to cope. I go to the gym. I write. I spend time with those I love. I’m trying to be better. But it is a process. I cannot expect everything to be how I want by tomorrow. Things take time. But the harder we work towards something, the more we appreciate it when we get it.

I will end this post on the following note, it is not about the destination, but about the journey. I hope everyone is staying safe during these times and finding ways to stay productive. I know it is hard some days, but I promise, if you get up and go do something like exercise or take a walk, you will feel a whole lot better.

Not sure when my next post will be since life is hectic at the moment, but I will try and write again sometime soon!

Until next time,

Ms. Dakota 🙂

My Writing Journey: The How And Why I Started Writing With Advice For Aspiring Writers Included

When Did You Begin Writing?

Many children begin a hobby when they are young. For example, they get involved in sports, swimming, gymnastics, dance, martial arts, etc. As soon as I was able, I held a pencil in my hand and started writing. I received many diaries and journals as gifts when I was younger. I excelled in writing assignments in school whether it was writing a report, essay, or something of the sort. My writing journey began by writing my day-to-day thoughts in a journal.

In the 3rd grade, I wrote my first poem for a poetry contest. It was about elephants, which is my favorite animal by the way. Unfortunately, I did not win the contest, but that is when I really grew to love writing even more.

Why Do You Write?

Writing began as a hobby and soon turned into a passion. I write because I want to. It has always been for me. I initially would hide my journals away somewhere in my room, but one day I started reading my thoughts to those closest to me. They would tell me that my words were powerful. I had no idea my words carried that amount of weight. I was just free writing most days.

Writing has always been and always will be my form of expression. What was once a hobby then became my form of healing. There have been certain traumas in my life and I turned to writing to express my inner thoughts. Writing has always offered me comfort that people simply could not.

What Or Who Inspires You?

When I was not writing in a journal, I was reading as often as I could. I know this is probably not common, but I was one of those students in school who actually enjoyed summer reading. One of my favorite books, (I have a tattoo from the book actually) that I read over the course of one summer, The Kite Runner, is my favorite to this day.

As a teenager, I was obsessed with the Twilight Series, the Hunger Games, the Divergent Series, Fifty Shades, and a few others. My tastes in genres have evolved over time.

In my early twenties, I began to gravitate towards poetry mostly. I promised myself I would read the entire poetry section of Barnes & Noble once and I think I did pretty well. I’ve read all of Lang Leav’s books, I’m obsessed with Rupi Kaur, Atticus, and a few others.

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What Is Your Writing Process Like?

My writing process varies. Sometimes I need absolute silence and other times I need music playing in order to focus. I need a cup of coffee of course or several. I do most of my writing on my laptop. When I do not have access to my laptop or I’m on the go, I usually put thoughts that come to me randomly in the notes on my phone. Once I begin writing and really zone in on my work, I can lock myself away in the room for hours.

Do You Plan To Make A Career Out Of Writing?

For the time being, I manage my blog for the sole purpose of putting my writing out into the world. I did not know where this blog would lead me, nor did I think I would grow a following on twitter, but I am forever grateful. I have interacted with some wonderful creatives in the writing community who have helped me in certain areas.

If the opportunity presents itself, I am certainly interested in making writing a side hustle. I would be open to freelance work or other opportunities if they come my way. I majored in creative writing in college and one of my goals is to publish at least one book in my lifetime.

What Kind Of Books Do You Want To Publish?

The thing with me is I do not want to be defined by one genre or a certain type of writing. I want to become a well-rounded writer, therefore, this means exploring every possibly avenue. Currently, I hope to publish a book of fiction, maybe a memoir, a short story anthology, books of poetry, and a children’s book which is being worked on soon.

What Advice Would You Give To Aspiring Writers?

The best advice I can give anyone who is thinking of writing is this: never lose sight of why you started writing in the first place. If it becomes a chore to write or you are too focused on making money or becoming published, you will quickly fizzle out. For instance, my sole focus is writing for my own benefit. The money and the publications can come later. However, I write because it is something I enjoy.

I would also advise that confidence is of the utmost importance. A wise person once told me, “Not everyone will understand your craft and this is okay.” That is such a powerful statement. Writing is a difficult profession. Rejection will happen often. You have to push through that. Never lose sight of why you started, how you started, and where you are going. Trust your process, always.

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As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to comment below or tweet me on twitter: @msdakotawrites if you have any feedback. It is always greatly appreciated! 🙂

Until next time,

Dakota 🙂

How To Write A Powerful Resume & Cover Letter To Stand Out From The Crowd

2020 has been an eventful year so far. We are living through a pandemic and considering the unprecedented times, many people are either unemployed or have lost their jobs which is heartbreaking. Hopefully, things return to normal soon and when they do–people can return to work.

Aside from running my blog and writing stories, I also enjoy resume writing. I have written numerous resumes with cover letters for several family members and friends. I wanted to write a post about what I think many people should know: how to write a resume and make yourself stand out from the big pile of other applications an employer will be sorting through. This post was requested by followers on Twitter. I also believe it can be considered a necessary read when people are able to return to work and are searching for new jobs.

I will provide you with the necessary steps you need to write an outstanding resume.

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How To Structure Your Resume: Beginning To End

  • OUTLINE. List your employment and education from the last 10 years. Write down the jobs you held with 2-3 sentences about what your job entailed and what your duties/responsibilities were.
  • STYLE. The standard format should be size 12 font and Times New Roman. However, if you want to be creative, you can choose a font that is similar to Times New Roman, still professional, and easy to read. The style of your resume is entirely your preference.
  • HEADLINE. At the top of your resume should be your headline. Your headline should include your full name, address, current phone number, if providing more than one number, identify if it is a cell/business phone, etc., current email, LinkedIn, or other important social links you want to provide.
  • EMAIL. Your email should also be professional. Refrain from emails that are too long. I would always recommend first initial, middle initial, last name, or however you see fit. However, if your email has a nickname with numbers after for instance, this is not necessarily appropriate.
  • LENGTH. A resume should be 1-2 pages max, However, I would recommend trying to contain everything in one page. If you have 2 pages consider having the resume printed double-sided.
  • PAST TENSE. Your resume should be written in past tense. When detailing a current position, you can use present tense.
  • USE ACTION VERBS. For example, supervised, managed, etc.
  • SHORT AND SWEET. You always have to remember that your resume should be read in 30 seconds or less. You have 30 seconds to sell yourself.
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What To Do If You Lack Job Experience:

Begin With Highlighting Your Education

If you have held few jobs, 5 or less for instance, you should consider beginning your resume by highlighting your education.

  • EDUCATION. When highlighting your education these are the areas you should cover: name of university or program, license or certificate acquired, your GPA, classes you took, clubs you participated in, or other essential information you believe will help you land the job.
  • NO WHITE SPACE. You do not want white space anywhere in your resume. Fill that space in with content.
  • Include a SKILLS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS section. This is where you can highlight any awards or certificates you have acquired as it pertains to the job. It provides more detail on who you are, what you enjoy, and your work ethic.
  • VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE. This section of your resume allows the employer/company to see that aside from your daily activities you have also participated in other groups/organizations, etc. Therefore, you are depicting yourself as a well-rounded individual who is community oriented.
  • REFERENCES. If you want to go the extra mile, I recommend including your references already listed. It shows you are prepared and planning ahead.

How To Write A Cover Letter In 7 Simple Steps

Your cover letter is your chance to be personal, really highlight why you want the job, why you are the right candidate, and really leave a lasting impression on the employer reading your application, which could possibly lead to a phone call for an interview.

  • When you have the name of the person you will be interviewing with or the name of the company, you want to address the letter to them. It makes it more personal. Go this extra mile.
  • Format the letter properly with name/address of company, your address and information, along with the date.
  • You should highlight who you are and why you want the job in 2 paragraphs or less.
  • QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.
  • You should cover the following: note any background information you know abut the company or position being applied for, why you are qualified, how your past experience is relevant, and why you are the right candidate for the job.
  • Always ensure your information is up-to-date especially your email and phone number.
  • Ensure you SIGN the letter.
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I hope this post can help my followers with building a powerful resume and cover letter to land the job they want.

Last but not least, CONFIDENCE. You can always sell yourself on paper, but if you are called in for an interview, confidence is of the utmost importance. If you would like to see a follow-up post describing what you should do the day of the interview, feel free to connect with me on twitter to let me know!

As always, please feel free to comment below, email me: msdakotawrites@gmail.com, or tweet me: @msdakotawrites on twitter. I would be delighted to hear about your experiences with creating a resume!

Until next time,

Dakota 🙂

Overcoming Writer’s Block 10 Different Ways

I was once told by a professor in college that, “It is easy for us as writers to try and edit while we write instead of just writing. Sometimes we doubt ourselves with what we write, but some of your best content could come from just free writing. Write until you hit that wall.”

‘Write until you hit that wall,’ is what I remember most from the entirety of that semester. But, this blog post is about how to get past that ‘wall.’

The following 10 strategies are what I usually use when I am experiencing writer’s block.

  • Step away from your laptop. Take a walk. Get some air. Clear your head.
  • COFFEE. Need I say more?
  • READ. Whenever I am not writing, I read. I am always reading about 3 books at once.
  • Listen to music. Sometimes a playlist inspires me.
  • Talking to family and friends. Sometimes my greatest ideas come from random conversations I have with those closest to me.
  • Take a shower or a bubble bath. Sometimes a hot shower helps me.
  • Exercise.
  • Watching TV/Netflix. Being a writer means I observe many things. I can get ideas from watching certain gestures, someone’s body language, or the way a group of people interact with one another.
  • Self-care days. When I take time for myself to rejuvenate and get re-inspired, I take a long shower, wash my face and then moisturize, paint my nails, get a massage, etc. I do not write when I’m stressed. I do my best work when I’m relaxed and can focus 100%.
  • This may sound silly, but sleep works. Taking a nap to give myself a break. Trust me, take a nap especially if you’ve done too much writing in one day. Allow yourself to rest and then get back to work.

As writers, we want to meet deadlines and do as much as we can with the time we have. If you are like me, it is extremely difficult to manage our work along with the other responsibilities life throws our way. I am a full-time graduate student, who is engaged, has 3 dogs, trying to study for my licensure exams to become a teacher, among so many other responsibilities. Stress seems to come easy, but I am trying to work on my time management a bit more.

This was a relatively short post, but these are the ways I usually overcome that hump when I feel like I have run out of ideas and can no longer write. You would be surprised with what you could come up with when you give yourself a break. Step away from that computer. Do not pressure yourself so much to get the writing done all in one shot.

I would love to know how you all overcome writer’s block!

As always, if you use any of these tips, feel free to share with me by commenting below, email me: msdakotawrites@gmail.com, or tweet me @msdakotawrites on twitter.

Until next time,

Dakota 🙂

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