This week someone asked me the question, "What's your dream date?"
"I don't know," I responded, trying to move on.
"Everyone has one," he said, not letting me off the hook. "Think about it, and I bet you'll discover a few."
So this is me doing that. This is me thinking about it ... and he was right! I discovered that there are a few dates that I would call 'dream dates.' And, like most topics I think about, I decided that the best way to think about this was to create a list.
1. Drive-in movie in the back of a truck
Maybe this is because I'm from small-town Indiana, but I can just imagine summer nights, under the stars, watching a movie with dozens of blankets in the back of the truck with some candy.
2. The 'surprise' date
Maybe this is too cliche, but I'm looking forward to a future where my boyfriend can surprise me when I least expect it.
3. The pottery/ painting date
These classes are just adorable in general, but I think they're even more adorable when you're doing so when you're just getting to know each other. It's less awkward, there's room for conversation one-on-one, but you're also surrounded by others.
4. Carnival/ fair date
Once again, maybe this is because I'm from a small-town in the Midwest, but I love these summer days and nights spent eating greasy fair food and riding wild carny rides.
5. The zoo date
There's nothing cuter than the person you love and animals that are also cute and lovable! I can't wait to have the time of my life just looking around at all of the cute animals and taking Instagram worthy pictures of my date while making memories with them that will last a lifetime!
It can be easy to forget that the power of God is incredible, immeasurable and literally awesome. It's something that Christians (especially Christians in America attending a private, Christian university) tend to take for granted.
One thing I'm learning in this season of life is that I need to embrace God's power. As I find ways to do just that, I'm learning so much about Him, about myself and about the world around me.
I'm choosing to embrace God's power in the way my body works. Think about it for a moment. Most of us breathe in and out, and it works exactly like it should. We go to sleep, and we wake up the next morning. Our legs take us here and there, our eyes look and read everything near us and your fingers scroll through this page just because you choose to. Our bodies are so incredible, so how could I not be grateful for the ways God's power is manifested in my very physical being ...
I'm choosing to embrace the power of God in the weather. Even if I don't like the cold winds that are blowing today, how incredible is the nature that God has gifted us. The trees change color at just the right time, the snow falls when it should, the winds blow and the sun sets and rises each day. His power is bigger than the winds and the waves, and I can embrace it in the ways I see it every single day outside of my window.
I'm choosing to embrace God's power in modern convenience. This is just one idea that describes thousands of things we take for granted each day. Heat, running water, food, access to the internet, electricity and so much more. As much as I love to think that I enjoy the simple life, I am so incredibly thankful for all the modern conveniences we have in 2018, and to think that God cares enough about us to make those things possible and give someone the ability, through Him, to create all of those things ...
The truth is, I don't embrace or even recognize the power of God as often as I know I should. I take Him and His awesome power for granted every single day, in almost every moment. But I'm learning in this hard season of life that life can only get easier when you remind yourself of His vastness and His majesty.
How are you choosing to embrace the power of God today?
I recently finished my senior project, a project I put three semesters worth of work into. A year and a half, over ten credit hours, officially turned into a 107-page binder with a flash drive of additional digital content. This project, while stressful, hard and overwhelming at times, taught me so much, and I couldn't help but share those lessons.
PS, you can check out my project here.
1. Completing a huge project like this is such an incredible feeling.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. To know that I can finally breathe and say that all of my hard work is complete is one of the most amazing feelings on the planet.
2. I have so much support.
I feel like I say this a lot, but the support I have in my professors and mentors is inspiring. Without them, this project wouldn't be as good as it is and it probably wouldn't even be possible.
3. I have such amazing opportunities.
This project is real-world client work that I can show a potential employer. It's real, and it's exactly what employers want. Because I had a real-world client willing to work with me and professors who let me take a risk, I created an opportunity that'll broaden other opportunities for me as I enter the job market.
4. As a public relations employee, I need so many more skills.
Writing, editing, designing, photography, videography ... all of these skills are not necessarily required for my profession, but I used them in my senior project, and they set me apart.
5. I am SO excited to begin my career!
This project was just a foot in the door, and I loved it. I know I'm going to land a career/ job with a team I love, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
We all know the feeling. You find an incredible job offer, and it seems like it was made just for you. So you put extra effort into the job application. You re-read everything, you triple check your portfolio and when you send it in, you know you've done everything you can.
Then you get the phone call letting you know that you're moving on to an interview. You put on your best blazer and recently-ironed pencil skirt, and you go in with prepared questions. You nail it. You leave knowing that you did the best you possibly could. And then you await the next call or email telling you that you've succeeded.
But instead you get the opposite: a rejection.
It hurts, and it's definitely not fun. But how do you deal with it?
First, remain focused on the big picture. The big picture will not look good if you respond in a rude, unprofessional manner. Instead, write back with a positive attitude. Yes, this can be challenging, because you don't actually feel that way when you're dealing with rejection, but you have to make yourself do it.
Second, do not let your frustrations come into play. This is one I struggle with the most. Stop questioning where you went wrong or what made you 'not as good,' but take a deep breath and forget about it. Channel your frustration in a more positive way. Work on some new job applications, edit your online portfolio or take some certification classes to improve your resume.
It wasn't meant to be, and there's something better for you.
Trust that the right job is out there and will come at the right time. Rejection is part of the job search process, and once you accept that, get back in the game.
Because hey, you're great and it's their loss.
Last week I opened up an opportunity to my Instagram followers and told them they could ask me any question they wanted and that I'd respond here. So here goes! You asked, and I answered.
Question: Where do you want to travel to next?
Answer: Honestly, I'm not quite sure. But, if I had to choose right now ... the Bahamas! I want to snorkel there soooo bad.
Question: What are you looking forward to the most about graduating?
Answer: Living in my first home/ apartment! I can't wait to finally have my own space that I can call home!
Question: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Answer: I wish I knew the answer to this one ... can I say the States? I'm content somewhere in the continental United States.
Question: What are you most afraid of?
Question: If you could go back and change something, what would it be?
Answer: I wouldn't.
Question: If you could pick a new career and instantly be qualified for it, what would you pick?
Question: What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Answer: Is all of them an ok answer? But ... I'd probably pick birthday batter!
Question: What's your most embarrassing memory?
Answer: In high school, at a football game, I jumped a fence. When we all got caught and had to jump back over the fence, my pants got caught on the top. My pants then ripped all the way down, leaving a huge cut on my leg that bled all night.
Question: Who are your biggest aspirations?
Answer: When it comes to fiction, definitely Harry Potter. When it comes to photography, Abbey Grim. When it comes to author, John Green. But when it comes to be a Christian in the communication field, David Blevins. When it comes to life in general, my late Grandpa Bud.
She wakes up, does her hair, puts on some makeup, gets dressed and plasters on a smile. She walks out the door, trying to leave everyone with the impression that everything is fine, like she has everything under control.
But it took her over an hour to get out of bed this morning. She cried herself to sleep last night. She had horrible nightmares. And between the nightmares, the restlessness and the wondering thoughts, she's gotten only a few hours of sleep.
She's broken inside.
Girls like her are broken and can't imagine that the pain will ever go away. Every night and every day they sit and stare, thinking that it's not worth it ... wondering if they made the wrong decision.
She feels worthless. She feels like a zombie. She feels pointless. Who on earth wants to feel this way? She knows that this isn't normal, and she knows that she doesn't want to feel this way ... but she doesn't know what to do.
I know this feeling all too well, because I feel this way too.
First, let me tell you that I am so sorry. I wish so much that I had the cure to take your pain away, but I don't. I am so incredibly sorry that you feel the way you do.
Second, let me tell you that if you feel this way, it's ok. I promise, you're going to get through this, just like I'm going to get through this. It's a season of emotions that we need to feel and wait out.
One day you will wake up, and it won't be so hard to get out of bed. One day I will wake up, and I'll be able to get up too.
We'll put on a genuine smile, and we won't have to fake it anymore. Let that be your hope. I know it may not feel like enough right now ... and once again, I am so sorry. I wish I had more, but I know that today, that is my only inspiration.
You will move on. Heck, we will move on.
Thank you all for participating in my blog contest! I increased my numbers, but have yet to hit my goal, so stay tuned for more contests!
Congrats Courtney Hallett! Your Starbucks card has been emailed to you 😘
If you've read my blog before, you might know that I love bucket lists! I've made many for many situations and different occasions, but the one bucket list I've never made is an anti-bucket list: a list of things I never want to do.
1. Swim with sharks. Ok, this would be cool, but I never want to do it. It's not worth the chance of dying. I've seen 47 Meters Down, and ever since, this has been on my anti-bucket list.
2. Pick up a hitchhiker. You may think, "What's the worst thing that could happen?", but I've listened to enough My Favorite Murder podcasts to know that plenty of bad things could happen.
3. Work in fast food again. Six months at McDonald's in high school was enough for the rest of my life.
4. Do a Polar Plunge. I do not need to get into a body of outdoor, cold water in the middle of winter. I'm not exposing my body to sickness that easily.
5. Go skinny dipping. Once again, I am not exposing my body to diseases if I can help it. I do not need fishies in places they don't belong.
6. Drugs. Need I say anything more?
7. Smoke. Once again, need I say anything else?
8. Get another piercing. I am completely content with my ears double pierced, and I don't want anymore holes in my body.
9. Attend a high school reunion. Nope, I graduated for a reason.
What's on your anti-bucket list that I missed? Happy Friday, friends!
This is another book that I was required to read and then I just didn't put it down. Thanks Dr. P. Turns out your taste ain't bad.
Amazon bestselling author, Akash Karia, writes How to Deliver a Great TED Talk, and easily inspires us all (because Lord knows we all could do public speaking better). I'm gonna tell you to just read the book, and (as usual) I'm going to leave ya with my favorite quotes.
Any type of message - whether it's delivered in the form of an advertisement or a presentation - needs to be simple and clear to understand ... boil your presentation or speech down to one simple, core message.
The best messages are shocking and say something unexpected ... make sure your twist is part of your message.
The most effective messages are credible and believable ... make sure you live the message you preach.
Advertisements and presentations that engage people's emotions will be memorable and effective.
The best messages use stories. Stories are a very powerful way of engaging people's emotions.
SUCCESs checklist: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, stories.
Find a message you are passionate about and which drives you. If you have a message that you genuinely believe in, delivering your speech will be easy because the passion will fuel your excitement.
One of the best ways to ensure your message gets remembered and repeated is to boil your core message down into a single, catchy phrase that you can repeat several times throughout the presentation ... power phrase.
Use contrast to make your phrase catchy.
ABC-C Formula: Attention grabbing opening, Body, Conclusion, Clear call to action
Presentations are about the audience ... not the speaker.
Make sure that your presentation offers your audience members a big promise.
Video testimonials are the best ... because they are the most credible.
People will remember the last thing that you say, so you want to make sure that you spend ample time crafting a great ending.
Personal stories are one of the best ways to breathe life into an old topic.
The best presentations are concrete rather than vague ... to make your presentations and speeches memorable, give specific details and paint images in your audiences' minds.
An analogy is a powerful tool for making your ideas concrete.
We've all heard that "first impressions are important," but what you may not realize is that first impressions are everything.
By addressing the elephant in the room at the beginning of your speech, you ensure that there are no barriers preventing you from connecting with your audience.
In your speeches and presentations, always highlight the problems first (and then build on the pain) before you offer a solution.
5 C's of stories: characters, conflict, cure, change and carryout.
Most speakers make the mistake of getting up on stage and beginning to speak immediately. Instead, I recommend that you get up on stage and make eye contact with your audience for a couple of seconds before you even say your first word.
8 Ways to Prepare for your ted talk:
3. Walk around the room
4. Get familiar with the stage
5. Test the equipment
6. Rehearse your opening
7. Listen to music
8. Visualize success
In the last six months, my blog has had an increase in page views by over 34%.
That number is mind-boggling to me, but it's also so rewarding. I have worked so incredibly hard on this site for four years now, and I've finally hit a bench mark that I never thought would come: In the last year, my blog has been visited over 300,000 times by over 50,000 people.
Let that sink in. 50,000 times someone, somewhere has clicked on my URL. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT! And I am so proud of it.
In honor of this benchmark, I get to do something I have been wanting to do for years ... hold my first blog contest!
Basically, I will be giving away one prize to a subscriber of my blog.
Before I continue, I have to be honest. This is really weird to me.
Don't laugh. It seriously is.
It's weird to say that I have enough blog subscribers to give a gift away, and it's weird to admit that my subscribers are lacking compared to my page views.
And ya know what they say, once you hit one goal, you need to set another. So I did. I've hit my goals of page views, and now I'm going to hit my subscriber goal!
So here's how it works! You sign up to be an email subscriber on the right! Just enter your email address and your name - BOOM! That's literally it. On October 28th, I will select a winner to receive a $15 Starbucks gift card!
If you have any questions or concerns, hit the contact button above. Happy subscribing, and thank you in advance!
About the Author
Hi there! My name is Dezaray Barr. I'm a public relations professional who loves Jesus, cereal and puppies. I'm a firm believer that God's greatest gift is our communication.