It's taken me a few days longer to get this post out than I had expected. Part of me was trying to be mindful of the tone that this message presented to make sure I wasn't offending anyone, especially considering people get defensive over influencer talk, and then the other side of me reminded myself that this is what my blog is for to touch on topics inspired by life as I know it. So here we are.

Can I be transparent for a second? When I first started this social media stuff it was for kicks and giggles (during my high school years). Twitter was a way to follow my favorite celebrities and Instagram allowed me to connect with my friends and share the fun moments we experienced together. As I grew with the internet my own passions developed and led you here to this post. How we use this space is so much different than it used to be...and I find myself missing certain parts of how things were back then. Social media has changed the game in how we get our crafts out. It has also been a segue in developing some amazing relationships and friendships too. I have personally been afforded plenty of opportunities in the past thanks to my little space on the internet and I love that we live in a digitally sound world, but the more we grow with the constant upgrades of social media, things become more... inauthentic.

It's great to find a community based on your interests outside of the friends you have because although they support you, sometimes they just aren't going to be into the same things as you. Which is fine, no shade, it's just how it is. Everyone likes what they like. However, I've been noticing how making connections with others in terms of blogging and entrepreneurship is a little lackluster.

A lot of people see Instagram as just Instagram, which it is, but it's also a platform full of opportunities. I understand the focus of building your brand to be more appealing to your audience, I do, but finding more bloggers and entrepreneurs to connect with on a more personal level doesn't seem to be any interest anymore. In my honest opinion, it seems as though Twitter is more laid back, easier to connect creatively, and has an openness to bond over people's work. It seems all people really care about on Instagram these days is becoming an influencer, and there is no harm in that. However, I guess my perspective on influence is quite different than others.

Instagram is known for being a visual app and people have become even more hooked on the imagery; which makes some go to great lengths to replicate what draws people in. When I first stepped into the blogging world, there were so many articles I read, filled with advice on how to help my blog grow on social media; Instagram was the main focal point. To make money you have to do this, make your brand look like that and I soon realized after falling into the trap that, I didn't want my brand to be a replica of the thousand other bloggers on the internet. I wanted it to represent me and my authenticity, in the true form... and I had to ask myself.. how authentic am I vs. the illusion I feel I need to produce for "quality content"? 

That question alone changed my whole approach to my brand and blogging "career" completely; if you want to call it that. Instead of having the mindset of "content, content, content", I realized what was best for my brand and I find so much comfort in that. Unfortunately, everything has become so numbers focused. There's an extensive amount of fake engagement going on and what seems like tons of following to unfollow, and for what purpose? Seems like everyone wants to be an influencer without really knowing what they want to influence for other than a perceived social status. It’s even sad that you can tell who may or may not be willing to connect with you nowadays or the fact that if your feed isn’t perfectly put together your quality of work must be mediocre. Feeling that certain people are too out of reach to connect with based on their following is ridiculous, but that's how it is. The mindset is trash. You have people who have smaller platforms who have the power to move masses. However, even smaller influencers are doing the same tactics to establish their Instagram standing, and I get it. It's easy to want to conform and do what it takes to enhance your platform.. but ultimately that would mean I am the one being influenced. Right? 

I can’t wait until we can get back to the times where we get over this infatuation with being influencers and public figures to monetize popularity that brings no real value to people's lives. Granted, there are a handful of people who impact lives in a positive way who didn't ask for the influencer label, but I’m not sure if anyone has noticed how bad it has gotten collectively over time. I would like to see people getting back to the root of why they do the things that they love, to think for themselves and build off talents, gifts, and what makes them unique— not what everyone else is doing. I need people to really start asking themselves what is it that they are influencing people to do? Are you making people want to be like you? Follow you?.. and if so, what are they gaining out of that besides pretty feeds and personal boasts? How are you helping anyone want to achieve where you present to be? I hate that I look into matters for tangibility but it’s something that really needs to be thought about considering the lack of substance within the community.

There's a big gap between influencer craze and authentic connections. The supply of influencers has gone up but the relationships it takes to have an impact is short-lived. The thirst for high follower counts is making people feel a lot bigger than they truly are and the illusion has people out here feeling like they aren't doing much compared to those who appear like they are. 

I might get some who decide to read this triggered and I'm sure people will take this as me complaining that I'm not at the heights of my Instagram game like others out there. Which isn't the case at all. What I'm saying is that I feel like I'm the only person left who truly cares about the art of things now, who still loves blogging for what it was originally renowned for. Furthermore, we somehow lost sight of authenticity along the way as the industry grew. The shift has unfortunately caused us to be more visually driven than ever before stimulated by sight which gets us no further than instant gratification and admiration. Causing us to eliminate the most important sensor we need, which is our thought process.

All in all, I just want bloggers, creatives, content creators (etc.) out there with smaller platforms to not feel like their message, or the quality of content is inadequate. It is so easy to get caught up in it all when you want more growth and traction... but I am telling you, your purpose and those assigned to it will come. Validation begins with self. The credibility of your brand is still worthy without the extras. Focus on the quality and forget about being recognized or looked up to and remember, everything that glitters ain't gold. 

I stand true to the lifestyle niche I assigned myself to and my best quality is that I am relatable. I am a regular person, no influencer, seeking to share a little light and inspiration to the world.. and that is exactly what I strive for my brand to represent. I want there to be some normalcy for me. I want people who come to my page to feel like my way of living is obtainable because it's a reflection of what my lifestyle looks like in real life. I may not have many posts but that's because I'm focused on truly building what I'm doing. I lose followers just as fast as I gain them but that's not important. My only obligation to myself and my brand + body of work is to reach those who genuinely like my content. I’m a writer and I’m sensitive about my craft. Anyone who is more visual, I’m just not the account for them. The quality of my content goes deeper than the quality of the picture I’m posting and I know that. I guess my only hope is that we can get away from this craze of looking the part and actually start focusing on the craft/community again.. and stop allowing platforms to get in our head.

That's all.

I never knew the importance of a morning routine until I didn't have one. For most of my life, I have been on a strict schedule as an athlete. Pretty predictable. I can't even begin to share how many times "I have practice" or "I have a track meet" uttered from my mouth. I always knew what to expect and how much to give back. I had workouts, weights and classes down packed. I was the multitask/prioritizing queen. That's all I knew, how to juggle things (and very well might I add). It certainly was useful in the beginning. However, once the schedule changed, bad habits began to form. You mean I don't have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn for weights anymore? That calls for immediate sleep-ins. Always being on the go meant always eating on the go. Not enough time? I'll just skip that meal. Free weekends were like a vacation. I carried all of these habits over into life after track and soon realized it needed to be fixed. I'm not saying that I was unhealthy, but I am saying that I didn't have the greatest of morning habits for a while.. and your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day.

When I first got out of college, I took every opportunity I had to sleep in. When I say sleep in, I'm talking 10/11 a.m. sleep-ins. I believe a portion of that had to do with the fact I was dealing with post-grad depression and had to go to a job I didn't like every day. After realizing that I wasn't making good use of my time in the mornings, I wanted to start being more productive during the hours I used to sleep my life away. There were so many things I could be doing within that time period and I wanted to make sure that I was getting the most out of it.

It took a while.

I continuously fell off of my plans to do better and would pick back up just to fall off again. Things get so much harder when you aren't required to do them anymore, but that's where self-discipline comes in the most! Our days and moods are pretty much shaped by how we spend the first hour in the morning. My first-hour would be spent scrolling through social media.. and I still fall short sometimes. I'm guilty, but I hate giving my time to things that aren't that important right then. I've done it so much throughout college it's become second nature. I started really thinking to myself like "what did I do before I ever had a phone?" before any of these social networking apps took over. It seemed the more I got into blogging over the years, the more I instinctively checked social media.

If I want to direct my life I must first take control of my consistent actions, because it's not what I do once that shapes my life, but what I do consistently. So, at the end of last year, I told myself that I needed to change the way I spent the first hours of my day and did trial and error routines. For some reason, I wake up at 6:58a on the dot, every single morning now and it's been that way since October. It doesn't matter if I go to bed later than usual, the good Lord is popping my eyes open right on time daily. Noticing that and taking the areas of my life that I wanted to improve this year I began a routine. Waking up this early helps especially on Saturdays when I go for my run.

I'm still in the process of tackling this routine down perfectly every single day of the week, but we're getting there. Baby steps right?

(side note: my room is my favorite place outside of my office.. I spend more time here creatively.)


I'm kind of a grandma now so I really don't do much on weeknights, but I do have movie nights and binge watch shows on my own until 12a the next day (ya'll know how it goes). However, I'm pretty adamant on going to bed around 8:30 or 9p outside of my occasional Netflix binge. In addition to that, because I'm going to bed quite early, I usually don't eat anything after 8:00p (usually). As morning comes around, I'm up at 6:58 as my bedtime alarm starts to play chirpings of birds (this is the calmest alarm tone to wake up to take my word for it).

I then will proceed to either take my morning shower or run a bubble bath so I can spend some time on devotionals. After that, I make my bed and cuddle up on my couch and read one or two chapters of whatever book I'm reading at the moment.

Since I'm at two different schools throughout the day, I like to set my intentions, go over lesson plans and get in tune with how I'm feeling. I do all of this by using my little 5-second journal. I document how I am feeling that morning, why I feel this way, what I can do to improve my mood, as well as state the things I would like to get done. My favorite part of the journal is the option to physically write down when I will be done working that day, which is especially good emotionally when I'm beginning to feel burnt out.

Notice, I haven't mentioned anything about my phone? Well in case you were wondering, yes. I have been on it but not for social media. I do my devotionals through the Bible app so I'm utilizing it for that and exchanging good mornings and well wishes for the day. Other than that, I don't need to check my Twitter or even begin producing content because it's already taken care of. I use Buffer to schedule any and every thought I may have to tweet out for me at night. I have fallen in love with this app because it really does the work for me. It schedules the timing on its own, I can choose how many times a day I want to publish tweets and that's it. I don't have to worry about producing content throughout my work day and can be active online without having to be active.

I've gotten pretty good at sticking to this routine, sometimes I fall off (checking social media), but I do plan to continue doing it so that it becomes easier to have a more productive morning. When I do well on this routine my whole day runs smoothly and I'm in a great mood because I've taken the time to utilize my morning and get many things out of the way early.

Once I get to work I use office time to check or respond to any blog or business related emails since I'd typically already be checking work emails before class.


Are used for fun right? To a certain extent. I don't want to stop trying to collectively better my routines with the exception of the weekend. So, Saturdays are used for morning runs. I get up at 6:30a to get to the park at 7:30a and do my full workout with my trainer. It can consist of hills, sprints, two-mile runs on the loop, whatever it is, I take this time to clear my mind of everything from the week. Running has always been my way to focus better. After, I get a nice and healthy breakfast in, shower and dive into blogging. Again, Twitter is already handled. Then Sunday is a rest day, usually more time for reading and prepping for the work week.

I like this schedule so far and plan to be more consistent with it because it does make me very productive. The next thing on my list to tackle is incorporating cooking more throughout the week to limit eating out and practice healthier habits.

Hopefully, this helped you identify bad habits that you've developed throughout your mornings and moved you to want to break them!

The 5-second journal can be found here if interested: Amazon 


Ashley Avenu. Jeremiah 29:11.