You Should Start a Commonplace Book

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If you are anything like me and have too many notebooks lying around your room, you should start a commonplace book.

So what exactly is a commonplace book?

A commonplace book is a book used to compile knowledge “usually by writing information into books” (Wikipedia). It isn’t like a journal or a diary, where you keep a recording of your daily life, but rather a place to write down those random ideas that you want to come back across in the future.

The pages of my commonplace book are filled mostly with quotes, life lessons, book ideas, quick sketches and for some odd reason a complete list of all of the presidents’ names. Yes, I know that technically most commonplace books do not have drawings in them, but I do it because I don’t have a sketchbook and I sometimes feel compelled to draw. It is a perfect way for me to keep everything that I find interesting in one place rather than having random scraps of paper and notes everywhere.

I even have one page dedicated to interesting words and their definitions that I may want use in one of my stories in the future. It’s perfect for me as a writer because I constantly have ideas and see things that inspire me so having my commonplace book on hand is really helpful.

Start yours today. Look around your room, on your desk, or in your office and find a blank notebook. It can be any kind of notebook, composition book or even a notepad. As you see in the picture, I just used one of my old moleskine journals that I bought years ago on a whim and never used. Do you use a commonplace book or something similar?

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Here’s to 21.

Hi there. 🙂 So in case it wasn’t obvious from the title, today is my 21st birthday. When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t sure how my day was going to turn out. The original plan was to just stay at home, eat lots of snacks and re-watch Grey’s Anatomy. [I know what you’re probably thinking; you just turned 21, why didn’t you go out? Well I’ll tell you why! It’s because I’m a student who has to be up at 6:00 the next morning so having a hangover really isn’t an option. ] Anyway, for the most part my day was just like any other day until a few hours ago. Out of the blue, one of my closest friends Raven Nicole { who by the way also has a blog where she shares poetry} called me to wish me a happy birthday. What meant to be a short and sweet message quickly turned into a 2 1/2 hour long phone call. Honestly, that conversation is exactly what I needed. We talked about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. It was so healing to talk to someone and for the first time in a while I was actually able to sit back and breathe. I explained to her how for the past couple of weeks, I have been caught in a hard place and I really hadn’t talked to anyone about what I was going through. Getting to the root of what was actually going on reminded me that there is so much power in being vulnerable. I know vulnerability is daunting, trust me I struggle with this more than anyone, but if you set aside your pride for just a few minutes and talk to someone, everything becomes so much easier. Suddenly, you are able to laugh about the things that just the week before, brought you to your knees crying. You realize that nothing is as bad as it seems and you become grateful that you had the strength to make it through each day.

If you are currently going through hard times, I want to challenge you this week to reach out to a friend and talk things through. It doesn’t matter if you two haven’t seen or talked to each other in a while, I promise you that won’t matter. The people that continue to show up love you so much and only want the best for you so I think it’s about time for everyone, as well as myself, to start realizing that. As I get older, I realize that life is so short and time is relentless so there’s really no time to waste trying to do life alone. Please take care of yourselves, talk to someone, and try to be more mindful. If you have gotten to this point, thank you so much for your time, I will be back soon, and here’s to turning 21! 😀

-J’Anne ❤

Feeling Uninspired? Me too

Hi there, it’s me again. If you have forgotten about me or this space by now, I understand. It’s been a little under six months since the last time I posted. I’ve been pondering on what I would say once I came back, or if I would even come back at all. I wish I had some exciting new pictures to share or stories from different places that I’ve been but that is so unrealistic.

Just as the title of this article states, I have been experiencing a serious writing/creative block these past couple of months. I guess that’s on me; I haven’t really done much other than work and prepare for this upcoming year. I’m already a junior, how did that happen? When I first started this blog, I was only a freshman in college, trying to make sense of everything around me as well as myself. While I am still figuring these things out day by day, a part of me wishes that I could go back to that small space in the corner of my dorm freshman year and start all over again.

I have since deleted almost all of my posts. Why is that? Honestly I’m not even so sure myself. I feel like a lot of it had to do with insecurity and fear that someone was going to not like my writing. If I’m being honest, none of that really matters to me now. It took me a while to realize that no matter what I do or say, I can’t control anyone’s attitude toward me. There are some posts that are so special to me, I wish I would have never gotten rid of them. Maybe I will bring some of these posts back to life from the archives, or maybe I won’t. Only time will tell.

On another note, I really want to get serious about posting monthly, if not weekly. I have a few ideas for the direction that I want to take this blog, and I am hoping that this season will allow more of my creative process to flow. Anyway, if you have read this far and you don’t mind me asking:

Q: What are some things that you do to find inspiration? ( Anything helps.)

p.s. It feels so good to be back 🙂

-J’Anne

If You are Feeling Overwhelmed

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Hello everyone and welcome back. This post is going to be a little different because I just wanted to sit down and ramble for a bit. There must have been a reason that you clicked on this , and whatever reason that may be just know you are not alone. Stress is normal around this time of year, especially with the plethora of things going on. Whether that be deadlines, studying, preparing for finals etc., I know because that is exactly what I am going through at the moment. So many things have been happening lately and with school on top of everything else, my life has been crazy.

I’m sorry, I am not trying to sit here and rant about how crappy my life is because that isn’t the case. My life isn’t perfect and I don’t claim for it to be, but the constant pressure from those around us to be perfect and only share the happy moments in our lives can really take a toll. I just feel that sharing my experiences will not only help myself but anyone else who is in my situation.

Anyway, to get back on topic, when things start happening and our workload  piles up, we tend to make our situations worse by worrying and playing the victim. ( I know I do, I am super dramatic) Just remember that YOU got this! You made it to the end of the semester and that is something to celebrate. Get out of your room and call up some friends for a study date. Make an A on that test. Treat yourself to some coffee because you deserve it, don’t let these things take your joy away! I know I am starting to sound a bit cliché and I’m not trying to tell you that these are some magical cures to all of your problems. I get it, life is hard. Some people may not be able to get out of bed or they may not feel motivated to do anything. If this is you, please hang in there. Everything happens on your own time. On the other hand, give yourself some credit. You made it another day and are doing everything that you can right now. Please don’t give up, no one has seen the best of you yet. Just give yourself time.

If you start to feel worthless because you feel like you aren’t living up to everyone else’s expectations, don’t. I struggle with this on the daily and I constantly compare myself to others about anything and everything. Just little things like this start to take a hold of me and I start to stray away from how I normally do things. I try to adopt other routines and guess what? They never work. Every time this happens I remind myself that it’s okay if I can’t do something like someone else, because I know that I can do it J’Anne’s way. Whenever I get into this mindset I realize that there is nothing wrong with doing things my way as long as I know that I tried.

It is just a slow process of getting to know yourself.  Through this you slowly start to love yourself and through loving yourself you begin to find true happiness. I am still on this journey but I can say that I have come a long way from where I was a year ago. I hope that everyone of you can learn to love yourself. We need to break the stigma of sadness during the holidays because I see so many amazing people struggle and I wish that I can help. Sadly, I know that this easier said than done, but I can still try my best to be there for those that need me.

Good luck to you all and please take care of yourselves for these next couple of weeks.  ❤

-J’Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kezee Street

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Lately I’ve been thinking about the house that my family used to live in on the corner of Kezee St. Eleven years ago to be exact. It was a large white, slightly slanted house with a torn down garage in the driveway. Our home was just down the road from my cousin’s house so we would stay gone for hours on end running around and exploring the neighborhood. I still remember the looks that we received because of how many of us there were. Sometimes there would be five  of us and other times whenever my family from across town would come visit there would be ten. I’m sure it looked funny; a herd of young Hispanic kids walking in the street. Me and my cousin, Titos, trailing along behind in the grass because we weren’t old enough to walk with the big kids.

I never would have guessed how much I would miss these moments, but here I am now sitting in my sister’s apartment, dog sitting and reminiscing back to my childhood. I’m 20 now, and sometimes it just feels so strange. I start to notice how everything around me is changing and time seems to continuously slip right through my fingers. Whenever I go back to my hometown during the holidays to visit my Aunt and walk the same paths that I would when I was younger, it feels almost like a movie. A distant memory that will forever be etched into the streets of my city.

I look over at the train tracks, then remember the countless nights sitting up in bed, not being able to sleep because of the thundering and shaking of the train as it rolled down the railway. I remember how, despite our mom’s stern insistence not to, we would put coins down to be smashed. We never knew what we would use them for, we just thought they looked neat, almost like those silver and gold talismans used in movies.

I remember the old, weather beaten shed in the back that my sister’s and I turned into a clubhouse. Friends would come and go, but all of our names painted in an old can of red spray paint would remain.

Then there was the cucumber plant that my dad planted and to this day I still have no idea if it bloomed. Maybe the person who had moved in after us or even the person after them would have found it. Either way, the mystery remains, because now the house is gone forever. It was sold to the city who would knock it down, taking all of our memories with it. Sold to someone who had no idea what it meant to the three girls who lived there eleven years earlier. The house in itself is now just a ghost.

Recently, when my sister and I drove to Kezee street during the holidays to look at the rubble, I realized that even though our memories were here, this was not our home. Our home was the feeling that would follow us to every house after that, because we were all together. This big, slightly slanted white house with the broken down garage in the driveway was home to one of the most beautiful moments in our lives and though it’s foundation has crumbled, our memories will not.


Thank you so much to whoever reads this. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and I will be back hopefully sometime before the new year. xo

-J’Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:00 PM

The world after 8:00 pm is one of my favorite times. Either the atmosphere is filled with the boisterous noise of people going out for a night on the town or it is silent. I tend to like both. Part of me dreams of exploring the streets of a strange city until 2:00 am with the people that I love most, but another part of me wouldn’t mind staying in.

On Monday nights when I am walking home from my  lab, I cannot get over how beautiful everything looks. The world around me is drenched in silver moonlight. The roads that were once busy with traffic are now glowing with green, yellow and red hues. It just feels comfortable. The sun isn’t out to reveal my secrets, and it is just me, the moon, and the stars.


Just something short and sweet. I will be back very soon ❤

-J’Anne

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20.  October 23, 2018

My day started at 5:30 am.

I wasn’t sure why, but everything just felt different. Normally, when Tuesday rolls around I tend to sleep in, but today I practically jumped out of bed. Despite the fact that it was raining, I still got up, got dressed and went out to finish the thing that I have been putting off for so long. It was strange for me but I decided to just go along with it since I felt restless and needed some fresh air.

While I was walking to the academic advisement center it had dawned on me; today is my birthday. How could I forget? I turned my phone on and saw the flood of Happy Birthday messages from my family and friends and I started to reflect back on myself. (I know, I’m sounding a little too dramatic but hear me out!) For the past 20 years, I have neglected putting myself as my top priority. All of the times that I have stayed in bed on my days off procrastinating, watching Netflix; thinking that I was taking care of myself. I wasn’t.

Now I’m not saying that I just “woke up a different person”. As much as I wish that I could change everything over night, I know that the process is much more difficult than that. I just realized that if I want to be anywhere close to the person that I want to be, I cannot stay the same. I have wasted almost half of my life being too afraid to do anything; whether that be dancing, singing obnoxiously, sharing my writing, or speaking in public, and I am tired of it. There are so many things that I want to do but those little thoughts and fears in the back of my mind hold me captive. But not anymore.


Hello to whoever is reading this! I decided to share my journal entry from this morning as a way to open up a bit more since there are quite a handful of you now. ( Technically there are only 6 of you guys right now but I am more than grateful that you have all stuck by me! 🙂 ) I still haven’t decided what I am going to do for my birthday yet, but if I do anything I will probably post it on my Instagram which is linked on my home page. Thank you so much for reading and I will be back very soon.

much love,

J’Anne ❤

Rainy Days

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I’ve never particularly liked rainy days, but that doesn’t mean that I hate them either. I guess it just depends on how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I stay inside, and watch Netflix or catch up on some homework. Other times, I see these rainy days as perfect photo ops. I also like to use these days to take some time and reflect on myself and get my thoughts together. Continue reading “Rainy Days”

Morning Thoughts

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There is just something about taking an early morning walk that makes me feel happy to be alive.  The smell of the dewy air; the way that sunlight filters through the tops of the trees. Even the way that the sky looks after it has just rained. Everything.   Every morning I get to witness how beautiful campus is whenever it  isn’t crowded with the constant hustle and bustle of people trying to rush to their classes.

It’s funny actually because I’ve never really thought about how people are so eager to get somewhere, that they miss the beauty around them. Now I completely understand if you are 20 minutes late to your class because you decided to take a detour and get Starbucks, we’ve all done it. It’s just that I feel like people miss out on so much when they have their nose buried in their phone, or when they have their eyes glued to the sidewalk in order to avoid eye contact with strangers.

I guess that’s it for now, I just thought that I would share my thoughts for the day. Thank you so much for taking the time to read.

Much Love,

J’Anne