Before JennSimpsonPens

Before JennSimpsonPens

Reflecting on my year as an Odyssey contributor...
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On June 27, 2016, I took a bold step forward and published my first article online for the world to see. As an Odyssey contributor, I made a promise to myself that I would try this whole "weekly article" business for a year, no matter what. Some weeks were easier than others. On more than one occasion, I felt like giving up, or that the stress of another weekly deadline wasn't worth it, but I pushed on. Now, here I am, one year later, looking back at a portfolio of 47 (counting this one) posts. I'm somewhat dumbstruck.

I've covered a broad range of topics over the last year, and while some received more attention than others, I'm pleased with my collection of work. Having permission to write about whatever I wanted was amazing (and sometimes, overwhelming). This is an experience I reflect back on fondly. It's been invaluable to have such freedom along with a safety net of editors and a support system of other writers (both for accountability and encouragement). Honestly, I would highly recommend this experience to any aspiring writers who are thinking about branching out.

As for me, this experience has given me the tools and experience I didn't even know I was lacking a year ago to start my own blog (JennSimpsonPens)! At the time of this post, it's still in its infancy, but with the discipline of writing a weekly article for Odyssey, I now know I can handle following a blog schedule.

It's been a great journey (dare I say an odyssey) of learning for me over the last year. Thank you, Odyssey. I couldn't have found my courage without you!

My Odyssey Articles

Disney College Program: DCP Lessons

Just Buy The Toaster

Cry Over The Ranch Dressing

Give Thanks Together

It's A Snake, Sweetheart (Part 1)

It's A Snake, Sweetheart (Part 2)


Movies and Entertainment

Dear Internet, You're Wrong About "Ghostbusters"

Here's The Scoop About "Ghostbusters"

"Book Of The Atlantic" Sets Sail This June

7 Reasons Why You Should See "The Ring" Before You Die

11 Reasons We LOVE Eleven

Blind Date With A Thriller


Food and Drink

Psycho Cupcakes: 13 To-Die-For Treats

Cider And Spice And Everything Nice

Nailed It: Stormtrooper Cupcakes

11 Ways To Dress Up Those Leftovers

What's On Your Cookie Table?

What Blue Apron Doesn't Tell You

Blue Apron Review: How's The Catfish?

Blue Apron Review: Bolognese With Bae

I Don't Want To Give Your Kid A Cheese Sandwich

Free Lunch Might Be Off The Table


Cats

12 Ways My Cat Helps Me Procrastinate

The Cat Who Plays Favorites


Virtues

Why I'm Never Rude To The Cashier

When I Found Dory

Teach Them To Be Kind

Count Your Blessings

Whatever Happened To Our CHILL?


WWE

3 Types Of WWE Fans We All Know

Tag Team Ministry


Work

Today's Goal: Stay Employed

Beware The Boss


Writing

Writing Lessons I Learned From "Hamilton"

Hilarious Homonyms

Ideas Are Like Rocks

Before JennSimpsonPens


Relationships

Long Distance Relationships Suck

Best Big Sister: The Haircut

When You Marry A Writer


Other

Buy A Home, They Said. It'll Be Fun, They Said.

Dragged To The Doctor's Office

15 Inspiring Quotes From #GLS16

How Do You Costume?

Nailed It: DIY Tree Skirt

Goldilumps And The 3 Bras

Easy Pittsburghese

Well, That's A First

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Simpson

Popular Right Now

22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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50 ways to demonstrate self-love Today

It's the little things that count.

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Today, and every day, it's important to incorporate self-love into our lives. Each day, we can do something little that adds up to something big to benefit ourselves and our mental health. Loving yourself comes in many forms and activities.

1. Remind yourself that you, and your feelings, are valid.

2. Be true to yourself.

3. Do not let others take away your uniqueness.

4. List 10 things that you love about yourself.

5. Read your favorite book.

6. Take a walk alone and reflect on what makes you happy.

7. Do yoga.

8. Watch a movie that makes you laugh (or cry).

9. Paint your nails.

10. Buy your favorite drink from your favorite coffee shop.

11. Take a nap.

12. Eat your favorite food.

13. Start exercising.

14. Write down how you are feeling.

15. Identify a challenge in your life, and develop a plan to overcome it.

16. Get a massage or a facial.

17. Talk on the phone with someone you love.

18. Cry if you need to.

19. Pet a dog.

20. Go get your hair done.

21. Buy a new outfit that you feel confident wearing.

22. Log off of social media for one day.

23. Drink lots of water.

24. Talk about your life journey with someone else.

25. Color a picture.

26. Try a new hobby.

27. Go outside, and find five beautiful things to take pictures of.

28. Think about what has made you grateful today.

29. Let go of something that is bothering you.

30. Look up inspiring quotes.

31. Engage in uplifting self-talk.

32. Light your favorite candle.

33. Go on a drive to a place where you feel at peace.

34. Think about how much you have grown.

35. Take note of your accomplishments for the day.

36. Recognize your feelings and know that you are allowed to feel.

37. Take the leap of faith to get the help or assistance that you need.

38. Be kind to others.

39. Write a letter to your younger or future self, and read it over.

40. Start a gratitude journal.

41. Put on your favorite face mask.

42. Clean out your closet or room of clothes you no longer wear.

43. Understand how important self-love is.

44. Write small, encouraging notes to yourself on post-its, and put them around your room or home.

45. Take a bubble bath.

46. Smile at yourself.

47. Try meditating for 10 minutes in the morning.

48. Do something that is truly relaxing to you.

49. Go to a park.

50. Do what makes you the happiest.

Every single person is worthy is self-love. The ways of engaging in self-love are infinite, so you are able to find what works best for you. Do not doubt yourself! When you start to love yourself, it seems like life makes a lot more sense.

Cover Image Credit:

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