Tag Archives: #reflection

Listen

Maybe you are reading this because you deem yourself as ‘healthy’. Maybe you are on this site because you are not ‘healthy’. You question yourself; am I doing everything right? Am I doing something wrong? How can I be better? The answer I have to this, or whatever else you might be thinking, is that it’s really up to you. I find that this space should be for conversation. This is a space to talk about what works for people and what doesn’t. Whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally, no matter the gender or ethnicity, or really anything else, there are people who understand you. And that may not even be me. In fact, it’s impossible for me to understand where anyone is coming from because I am trapped in my own biases and what I’ve grown up with and how society has shaped me, etc, etc. But I can empathize. I want to challenge myself to listen. Not just to listen to reply, but just to hear someone out. Let them rant about what’s bothering them, or what’s making them happy. I want to truly aspire to listen, and reflect. I want others to have a chance to do this too.

This space I am trying to create will be built on stories from other students or just everyday people who might understand where you come from instead. For me, how beautiful a world we would live in if people took the time to actually listen to each other. We all have a voice and it deserves to be heard. Now, this website will not change the world, but there are lessons to be learned from listening to people’s stories.

That motivates me to create a look and a space for those wanting to escape from their own lives for a minute or two and think about a different perspective. Maybe relate to it a little, or not at all. When I think about this, the public I want to create is slowly helping create this site, create me as a writer, and most importantly, create a conversation. Funny stories or sad ones, there is a sort of art in all of it. This site should be as smooth and as easily accessed as the conversations I write about and have in person. The colours and the typography should flow. If people come here to learn something new about someone else, and end up finding out something about themselves, perhaps I will have accomplished something.

Process Post 1

I forgot my password. I can’t be the only one who constantly does this. Apparently I already had a WordPress account, so both my emails come up for username. When I changed the old password for the old account, I tried to use it for the new account. 3 tries later and I’m locked out. I wish I wasn’t so forgetful, but there’s so many passwords to so many accounts nowadays.

Once I can get back into my account, I’ve spent quite some time trying to make it look the way I want. I get a little frustrated changing certain aspects of the theme just because I’ve never dealt with html code before. The CSS program is pretty easy to use, but I’ve never used anything like this before. Let’s just say it’s been an adventure. One in which involves many how-to youtube videos and google searches.

Ideally, it’d be nice to have the background something a little more to do with health and fitness. Something not too cliche, yet represents the website a little more. The current ram skull background is light and simple, as I can’t seem to figure out how to change the text colour yet, but over the next couple days it would be nice to play with different backgrounds a bit more.

For every post, I’d like to use my own photos. I’ve started an Instagram account to help me do this. My goals for both the Instagram and the blog are to get out and take my own photos and edit them — the blog would support the story and purpose for each picture, and Instagram will aid with me taking and editing the pictures more often.

I would like my widgets/menus to be more on the right side of the page, but I’m still learning how to do that. I would also like to maybe change the “Finding Balance” title and the hooker underneath either with different colours and/or fonts.

I have a couple friends who do blogs as well, so I was trying to get a little inspiration from their websites. There’s Ashley’s, (https://ashleyogilvie.com/2017/07/18/my-mom-calls-it-eden/), and Noelle’s, (http://noellekathleenjones.com/dig/under-the-guise-of-the-chill-girl/), both of whom have created an amazing voice with their writings and it is such an inspiration for me to do the same with mine.

With my blog, I would like to capture and enhance my own online presence and voice. I would like to hail students of any kind, and really anyone interested in health. Just to start a discussion on what works for people and what doesn’t really entices me and I think having that conversation and space for people is really important. As my voice and posts develop, I hope it’ll reflect these things!

A Vision For Beauty As Art

When imagining my blog I knew it was going to be centered around makeup. Over the years, my passion for makeup has grown and execution has improved exponentially. Sharing this passion seemed like a fabulous idea! But I didn’t know how to infuse myself into it; how to ensure it wouldn’t be a typical makeup blog. I wanted it to reflect my relationship with makeup. So I started brainstorming the words I associate with sitting down in front of the mirror when I know I’m going to get to do my makeup.

Self Expression: first and foremost, makeup is a form of self expression in my life. Different looks I create change the way people perceive me as well as the way I carry and present myself. I can create a look that says I am bold, or I am assertive, or I am calm, or I am mature, or I am happy, or I am angry. I can be closed off or welcoming. You would be shocked how my makeup changes how people interact with me. It’s a great way to express myself without words because sometimes words aren’t what you need.

Beauty: when I put the final touch on my face there is an inevitable surge of pride. Because there is beauty in what has been created. Not because it is more beautiful then my bare face, but the face I have put together with my makeup is beautiful in its own right. They do not have to be in competition. Feeling pride in my face with makeup on does not take away from the beauty of my face without. Beauty is just evident in both.

Confidence: after applying a flawless face, I strut around with a slightly overinflated ego because I know how fantastic it looks. I feel confidence in both my skills and in my appearance for the day. It is empowering to not feel like I have to wear makeup to fit a standard, but to wear it for myself. Anyone who says I am insecure because I smear makeup onto my face is making quite a few assumptions without taking the time to know me. I am a  confident woman. I march around with makeup on and I march around without it.

Art: for me, makeup is another form of art. I have never had a knack for visual arts. When appraising my drawing skills (and my handwriting), my kindergarten teacher patted my mom on the arm and told her there is just no hope for some kids. I’ve accepted it. But I am excellent at makeup, both for my face and for others. I constantly break the ‘rules’ of makeup to find a new look. Sometimes it works, sometimes the lesson is rules are there for a reason. But I love creating art and my face is my canvas.

Passion: discovering new products and creating new looks gets me so excited I hardly know what to do with myself. I can lose myself entirely while creating a new makeup look for myself. Talking to others around me and teaching them brings me absolute joy. I am passionate about doing makeup, about the artwork I create. It’s a passion I want to share.

Love: makeup is also a form of self love and self care for me. When I’m feeling down, or bored, or irritated or don’t want to leave the house, I can always boost my spirits by focusing some time and attention on some ‘Me Time.’ The time I put into my makeup lifts my spirits, without fail.

Strength: makeup seems to be a somewhat controversial topic for people. For women I know, some look down up those of us who choose to indulge in makeup. Words like ‘insecure’ and ‘vapid’ and ‘materialistic’ and ‘shallow’ are often associated with people who take the time and energy to apply makeup. However, I am a strong woman who wears makeup. It is for me. No one else owns what I choose to do with my own face. It is a form of self love, passion, creativity, and joy in my life. And no one gets to take those things away from me.

Makeup is part of who I am. I am excited to share it with you through Beauty As Art. This is the home of self expression, creativity, rule breaking, and excitement. Not every look will pan out. Not every look will speak to you. Not every look becomes part of my daily life. I don’t love every product you’ll see here. But it will be a wonderful journey never the less.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

PUB101 Essay #2

Twelve weeks ago, I had never published any expression of myself which was not heavily curated through a well developed or popular social media platform. I published myself on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Wattpad, yet there wasn’t anything more daunting than the idea of a completely self-driven space such as this blog. Twelve weeks ago I had never heard of what a “personal cyberinfrastructure” was or how many layers latticed the foundation of a simple website. In the past, my online publications were straightforward. Now, I type this with swirling ideas of digital publics and monetization in my head. However, what I did know twelve weeks ago was that I was incredibly excited. I had no clue where to even begin but, scrolling giddily through hundreds of WordPress themes that night after our first lecture, my heart leaped simply at the chance to publish myself: creations, opinions, and identity.

My blog began as a scattered jumble of my interests. However, as the weeks went on and the lengthy category menu leading to many empty pages began collecting dust, I decided to dwindle it down to a baking blog. Dreaming of cookbook worthy images and creative recipes which I had never thought to try before, I realized my underlying plan was to create a quintessential baking blog full of Pinterest inspiration at every click. The audience I initially imagined in my head was very similar – if not the same – audience as Pinterest, the popular photo-based platform used by mainly females in their twenties and up looking to cook, create, and design. To attract this audience, I focused on using plenty of large high quality images, a casual writing style, bright colours, simplistic designs, and obvious links to my various social media accounts. Travis Gertz warned against falling under the generic theme in this article on a website full of unique graphics which I could never comprehend how to build into my own site. I did end up with a theme which Gertz sees as a standard issue copy of many other popular websites with the large image and overlay text. However, I feel as though it was a safe place to start which I not only found aesthetically pleasing, but thought my potential audience would too.

Although I understand that advertising is an important element of boosting a website’s success, I have not yet ventured into the territory of monetization as you may have read in this Process Post. In an article about a small website business shutting down due to low revenue, Brian Feldman explained that creators have the ability to create content but are rarely making enough money to get paid to do so. At the moment, my blog isn’t something I’m interested in being a source of income. While I don’t know where I might end up in the future, I don’t feel as though my blog will ever be of any physical value. Instead of a monetary value, I believe my website provides the value of inspiration to those who are looking. Much like many other food blog browsers, I look for beautifully plated food and innovative recipes to boost my creativity. I can only hope that one day – when my blog is not still wheeling through the web on training wheels – mine could spark that same sense of creativity.

It is important to remind myself that my blog has barely started. Not only does this justify my dismal traffic data, but it is reassuring to imagine the places it still may reach. Truthfully, I’m not sure how many genuine audience members I have received yet that are neither my mother or spam bots. Some of my recipes have collected lovely comments – even a few from outside my friends and family bubble – but I have noticed that the most attention I get is from spam comments. Fortunately, I can simply filter out these comments before they are seen publicly on my page, yet they are still a pressing nuisance whenever I log in. Due to this influx of obscene messages usually baiting the receiver to click some sort of link, I have decided to look into a test for my comment section to simply filter out some robots designed to send out mass spam responses. As we discussed in class, a Norwegian website proposed introducing a quiz filtering system which users would need to fill out before being enabled to leave comments. While this is more geared towards letting readers cool off before typing out a rant and ensuring that the entire article was read entirely, it is a thorough example of a moderating system which could block out spammers.

Twelve weeks later, I guess I still don’t really know what I’m doing. This course has taught me useful skills which I will carry on in both my blog publications and any other social media post I share; knowing that whatever I publish contributes to the constant shaping of my online self. I am also not sure how long this specific website will carry on. I love this blog, I love what I’m posting, and I even have an idea for an entirely new post series, but I want to make sure that I am working on this blog to the best of my abilities. Neglectful, I feel as though I wasn’t able to fully mold this website to its full potential in the fog of other pressures and deadlines weighing on my life. I rushed through some things – unfortunate, but true – and I want to make sure that I dedicate the time this blog deserves in the future. Kadunbar.com will remain active for now, and I will be committing further to shaping my publication of self online. Twelve weeks later, my website is a little underdone and all over the place but, it’s mine. And that makes me pretty damn happy.

Reflections amongst the clouds and rain

It has been a rainy week here in Vancouver. Which is completely normal for us. And honestly, I don’t mind rain. Rain is just water. A little water never hurt anyone. Living here, you basically have to get used to it.

I am starting to get to the point where I’m struggling to think of new things to write about. After looking back at my posts, I realized I haven’t done as much reflecting as perhaps I would have liked to do. So hence this blog post. I have been feeling very meh lately. And I don’t think I can entirely blame it on the rainy weather. It’s crazy to think that this is the 2nd to last week of classes. That means that there is only 3 weeks until I am done being a University student forever. I don’t know exactly how to feel about that. On the one hand, I can’t even describe how much I am looking forward to not having constant homework 24/7. The great thing about work is that once you’re done, you’re done (for the most part anyways – it depends on the job). But on the other hand, it’s now time for me to join the real world and that is a scary thought. I’ve never not been a student and I can no longer say that I am anymore… I’m just, what? An adult?

I don’t have an exact career path in mind and this also kind of scares me. Right now, I am leaning towards wanting to do corporate communications. Or something like that anyways. But it is SO hard to get into that area. The competition is insane and companies will always choose someone who has experience over someone who doesn’t. I am fully preparing to be trying for a really long time before I get a job opportunity. I’m also trying to be open to possible different careers if something comes along that isn’t what I first think of. After all, anything is experience and at this point, I don’t really know what I like or don’t like.

I suppose this post is more me revealing my insecurities regarding the future. I am trying to remind myself that the way I am feeling is completely normal. I do currently have a job (retail) which I don’t totally hate so I suppose that’s good… I’m planning on keeping that and investing my newly-freed time into job hunting when school is done. The future is so unpredictable and it’s useless to try to plan it out too much anyways. For now, I’ll just try to remain optimistic and open-minded and see what comes along.