For the past school year I’ve been working on a long essay (read: a 45-page and growing monster that could turn into a book, but who ACTUALLY knows?!) And after contemplating relationships, names, and identity for going on eight months now, here are four things I’ve taken away:

1) It’s okay to care… just know your limits

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I’d like to think of myself as an ever-flowing source of compassion and care, but that’s neither true nor physically possible. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t invest in so many external things that you’re unable to care for yourself. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone needs things that matter to them in their life: people, causes, art, etc. And in order for something to matter, you have to care. But it’s up to you to delegate how much of your care you give and who/what receives it.

2) We’re not good enough to not practice.

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This is stolen from a Kiese Laymon essay that he published in 2015, but that doesn’t make it any less true. The only way to get better is to practice. To Try. To actually do the thing you want to do. For me, that means putting my ass in a chair and writing or rehearsing in a practice room. But really, we’re all amateurs because we’re all still learning. Whether it’s with relationships, self-care, or even that New Year’s resolution you’ve been meaning to start but oops, now it’s July… we all need to make time to practice and make space for growth.

3) Buying expensive drinks at fancy cocktail lounges makes twenty-fun into twenty-“Hun, I’m sorry, but this card has been declined” REAL FAST

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This one should’ve been very obvious, but AHHHHH MANHATTANS TASTE SO GOOD AND SPEAKYEASIES ARE COOLER THAN “BARS.”

4) You don’t have to surround yourself with shitty people when real folks are out there

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Which is so much easier said than done. I feel like a number of things in our lives continue purely out of inertia. I walk the long way from my apartment to my classes because it was the first route I tried. I keep buying iced coffees from Starbucks (even though they’re absolute, burned trash). But that doesn’t mean that’s how it should be (especially with people). The people we associate with matter. There’s a common understanding that relationships define who we are, which I agree with—to an extent. I’d amend and say that our relationships help us define ourselves (and how others see us). Being close with others teaches us about our desires and preferences (and who we actually should be close to). But passively putting up with others shit makes YOU feel like shit. To be fair, most of the shitty people we keep in our lives weren’t initially shitty. But if someone in your life doesn’t cherish, support, respect, and/or reciprocate your love in a way that works for you, your association with them is holding you back. And I know it’s scary to leave a close friend or friend group. But if you’re that dedicated to a person/group that’s not the right fit for you, imagine how amazing it would be to be surrounded by people who make you feel incredible.

But yeah… ya girl is back on the blog. And despite my lofty goal to make this website a weekly blog throughout the year, my academic and Netflix binging schedules just make it impossible. But now that it’s officially summer, and here I am (*Insert Kelly Clarkson echo* once again). This summer brings me to Boston (Yay Beans! Yay Beer!), and I’m working as an Editorial Intern for Da Capo Press within Hachette (pronounced: “ha-SHET”) Book Group. All things considered, this year has been good to me. I’ve been able to work with phenomenal artists and creators, explored new places with great people. I even got my scholarship extended so I can get five years of tuition-free education! But I’m very much so at a moment of reset in my life: in a new city; single and ready(?) to mingle… heck, I dyed my hair blue.

So what does that mean for The Kandi Dish?

Think of it as a summer magazine for the sweet, the sour, and the in between.

Want to keep up with my adventures? Be sure to Follow Inside The Kandi Dish on WordPress.com!

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