I always struggle to think up new things to blog about. My life rarely feels all that exciting. Except for when it does. Then, it’s like a deluge of things and my head spins with all the added changes and adjustments. But that isn’t usually a bad thing – no, quite the opposite actually!
In previous seasons of stagnant progress, I often wondered when (or even if) things would ever change for me. And oh boy, did they change. When I graduated from college wondering what I would do for work, I had to network and work hard for over two years until I started getting real paid gigs. But when I recently bought my first-ever brand new car, I had this moment of “holy crap, I’m actually getting somewhere in life now”. You can read more about that experience in this recent blog post.
But to share with you what I mean, I’ll break it down into three categories:
1. I got a boyfriend.
I know, I was shocked too (JK, it was bound to happen eventually because I’m freaking adorable, obviously). But the WAY in which this one happened was so incredibly wild, I’m still processing it even over a month later.
I originally met Adam TEN YEARS AGO in band camp. I was the guitarist, he was the drummer randomly assigned to the same group. We didn’t talk much, but we definitely hung back while the louder, more confident kids led the conversations. Pretty typical for awkward teenagers (and boy were we awkward). In the decade that followed, we mostly lost contact until he hit me up on Instagram a couple years ago and we started chatting again. Then, this past December, Adam was like “hey, I haven’t seen you in forever, want to catch up sometime?” And so I was like, “Sure, why not?” I can always use more friends. I was partially right about that, it just escalated in a way I definitely didn’t expect. It turns out, we have all the same values and energy. It honestly blew my mind how crazy we connected, and just the sheer depth of our conversations. So I recently asked him, “Are you glad I let you out of the friend zone?” And Adam didn’t skip a beat, he just said “I never really saw it that way.” Enough said, we’re adorable and stuff. I definitely chased guitarists too long when I guess it was always meant to be a drummer 😉
2. I’m starting my guitar teaching journey.
Yesterday was a typical Wednesday for me, except for the fact my guitar teacher dropped the news that he was leaving the store to teach elsewhere. So that’s when I finally decided to take the plunge and go for it – it was time for me to finally start the process of applying to teach. He was already helping me with this process on the practical level, but now is the time I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and actually go for it after years of toying with the idea. I’m equal parts terrified and excited, but I know that it will be so fulfilling for me, AND will bring some much-needed structure to my weekly routines.
3. My writing gigs are picking up.
I finally am seeing real progress in my professional work. I have clients that come back to me again and again, as well as a couple larger gigs that bring consistent assignments to me. These are HUGE blessings, and the only drawback I can see is that they’re keeping me from writing my next book because I’m often creatively spent by the time I get to it. But that’s okay – I know the creative process takes time, and that as long as I don’t give up, it’ll all happen the way it’s meant to (as seen in the above points 1-2). Of course, there’s still a long way to go, but there’s something really surreal about seeing your life finally start taking shape the way you’ve always wanted it to.
Where has your life been taking you recently? Share in the comments and let me know how you’ve been. And if you’re ever in the market for creative content writing or editorial work, please drop me a line via my freelance website HERE: https://www.angelinasinger.com/freelance
This year didn’t completely suck! Here’s a brief run-down of the bright side of the whole thing.
It’s safe to say this year was collectively a turd sandwich for just about everyone, at least in one way or another. So I was thinking back on my year as we’re about to welcome in 2021 later this week, and along with it, a fresh start. And I realized something interesting, that I honestly didn’t expect: this year was actually pretty lucrative for me.
Sure, all my in-person book signings and concerts were cancelled (of course) and I do really miss all those things. But something I didn’t expect was how the creativity in my mind didn’t stop moving – not at all! It just leaked out in new and innovative ways that I probably wouldn’t have discovered had 2020 not happened the way it did.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m upset and frustrated at the craziness of the world right now, and praying that it improves soon, but through it all, I realized I still have so much to be grateful for. So, as we move into 2021 which is hopefully a significantly better year than the preceding one, I’ve outlined below some cool things that happened to me this year. My hope is that by reading the good things that happened to me, you’ll be able to reflect on your own year too, and get pumped for what’s up next!
1. My social media following grew.
Seeing as how everyone has been stuck at home on their TV and devices, I’ve been able to capitalize on my reach. The biggest example of this might be my Boston Sports Desk music article gig, which has seen a good handful of my article get like 80k views (seriously, I’m shocked too). My Instagram page @ angelinasingerauthor also just hit 900 followers today, so I’m pretty psyched about that! Additionally, this blog is pushing almost 100 followers, not even counting my Facebook and Twitter following. I’m so grateful for everyone who’s taken an interest in my work! I’ve also met more amazing new friends through social media, and I’m so grateful for them as well.
I also published my sixth novel, the sequel of which will be available for purchase hopefully mid-2021. In the meantime though, you can read the first book, Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember available on Amazon HERE.
2. Freelancing became my main hustle.
And I’ve never been happier. I spent the majority of the year and a half or so since graduating from college looking for corporate jobs, padding my resume, and just generally pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing. But as it turns out, I’ve been doing the thing I’m meant to do all along. And that thing is: writing. Through this gig, I’ve connected with some pretty high-profile people, like Tree Paine (Taylor Swift’s general manager) since I provided some media coverage on her latest two surprise albums Folklore and Evermore.
3. My diet got healthier.
Despite the temptation to binge on sugary carbs all the time since I’m home and there isn’t much else to do, I’m determined to cut down on my intake because I feel better when I eat more proteins and healthy fats. Don’t get me wrong – I still love a good late night bag of chips, but I try to only do that occasionally at most. Taking care of yourself, including amping up on vitamins, was critical to get through this year without getting sick. I’ll definitely be carrying those habits into 2021 too!
I guess this wasn’t really part of the diet thing, but I also got my nose pierced this year finally! I’ve been wanting to since high school honestly and I feel so much more confident with it than I did without it. And most importantly, it’s a promise to myself to be happier with my appearance and love myself a lot more than I used to. Overall, a win-win. Still figuring out why it’s taking months to heal, but I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles!
4. My faith in Jesus got stronger.
When everything is crashing down around you, turning to Jesus is the only thing that truly brings me comfort. He even helped me with frustrations about the pacing of my life, and how I worry that I’m so far behind everyone else. I’m 23, but it literally took most of my life to realize that it actually doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. The only thing that matters is doing what God has for you the best you can. I know for a fact that I’m meant to write, and that’s exactly what God has me doing – and I’ve never been happier!
5. My author association voted me onto the board!
This is very possibly one of the coolest things on this list, but I was so humbled and blessed by the opportunity! My main responsibility as a board member in the Association of Rhode Island Authors is to recruit more young adult authors to join up, so if you live in or around Rhode Island, reach out to me for more info! I’ll be setting up an Instagram (and possibly Twitter) account for them too so that everything will be more accessible to younger writers as well.
6. Landed a weekly blogging gig.
Semi-related to the author’s association above, one of my good friends invited me to join her writing team for the Inkitt Writer’s Blog. It’s a really cool platform where writers can share stories and ideas about writing. It’s a nice little paid gig, and I love doing it! Stuff like this is super productive and helps me fill my time post-grad. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone looking for something similar.
7. My music journalism expanded into a magazine.
Yet another plug through my author association, I met someone at an expo event a year or two ago who manages Rhode Island-based Motif Magazine. Then earlier this August, I reached out to them to ask if they had any writing positions open, and they said yes – freelancing. So now I do the bulk of their music critiquing for local artists and bands. It’s super fun to network this way, and I love that I get paid for my articles to be included in a printed magazine!
8. Finally met a long-distance friend in person!
This one, was probably the most incredible of the whole year. Still not over it, to be honest. When his family went on vacation within driving distance of where I live, he invited me to spend a few days with them. So I did, and it was just so surreal and amazing. I’m grateful for the time we got to spend together, and hopefully it’ll happen again sometime in the near future.
9. Got out of my music learning funk.
As the pandemic wore on, my music teacher wasn’t as available for lessons, so I lost my rhythm (no pun intended, LOL). But that time away from more structured lessons gave me time to reflect and take a little breather from my in-depth music theory studies and guitar training. I’ve been learning guitar for over 12 years, and now I’m training to teach part time. Although it was a bit uncertain switching to an instructor who was more available (as I really admired my other teacher), I’m actually excited about a fresh perspective and new ideas. Very 2020 of me to say that, right? Like how life surprises us sometimes, but it’s what we do with it that matters. And I’m absolutely making the most of the opportunities I’ve been given to learn all I can!
10. Enjoyed more family time.
With nothing to do outside of the house, my parents and I found ourselves hanging out with the small group of just my aunt, uncle, and their two kids (my cousins) on weekends. We’re all feeling totally fine, and spending time together in a safe, home environment every week. We play games, eat a big dinner, and laugh a lot. It’s made my 2020 a lot brighter, and I’m so grateful for them.
I hope this little list of things I actually enjoyed in 2020 brought you to some of your own realizations. That maybe after all, this tough year had some good lessons in it. And that after we get through 2021 and everything turns back around, you’ll see that you’re more resilient than ever before. And in some ways, that makes the struggles (almost) worth it!
Happy new year, my friends! Here’s to a bigger and even better 2021.
P.S. – Keep an eye out for my next book, Forgiving What I Couldn’t Change, coming in (hopefully) mid-2021!!!