Hello lovelies!
     How have you all been? I guess you have noticed that my blog posts have become more and more spread out, but you see, although they are more spread out, I am proud of every-single one I write because I think about them more and spend more time writing them for your benefit and for mine. I hope you all realize that. If you don't.. Well, what can I do about it? I'm just an awkward teenage girl on the internet. 

     Anyways... As you all know, November is in one hour. And you know what that means! NaNoWriMo begins! I am so excited this year, although I don't feel as motivated this year just because of the fact that I have already done it and keep thinking "Meh, I don't HAVE to do it again.." But no! That is a false statement that is getting into my head! I am taking on the challenge again, and I hope you guys do too! Whether or not you are an old veteran or a NaNo-newbie, it really doesn't matter. Because the sweet joy and reward is worth much more than anything the world could give you easily.
     NaNoWriMo is great because it forces you to just sit down and write. And even if you don't reach your goal by the end of the month, so what? You still wrote more than you would have any other month. NaNoWriMo gives you a challenging goal and an impossible dead-line, and with that, you get progress. It's amazing how much you can surprise yourself. Last year I was just 14 and I got out an entire 50,000+ novel out in only one month while juggling gymnastics 3 hrs each day except Sundays, high school, a new boyfriend, and all the stresses of being a teenager. I took all of that and made something beautiful, and I would have never thought myself able to do such a thing.
     So this month I challenge you to write. Write when you're happy, write when you're sad, write when you're busy, write when you're mad, write when you don't even feel like writing. Whatever it is, it doesn't even have to be good, it just needs to be written. 
      No book was fantastic in its first run through, no book was beautiful, and brilliant, and jaw-dropping, and perfect in its first draft. And that is exactly what it is: A first draft. If that's the thing that worries you the most, don't let it, because no matter what it is, it's your own work and you were able to write it. How many of your friends can say they wrote a 50,000+ word novel? How many of those friends wrote it in a month? Not many. So take my challenge, and this challenge isn't even mine to give, it's WriMo's. So do it, and if you fail to finish, be proud of what you wrote, and if you do finish, kudos to you. Because this entire month you will be competing against people from all around the world to get a sweet taste of victory. Beat them to it, I tell you, pass them and let them write in your dust.
      So I encourage all of you to take the challenge of National Novel Writing Month, and even if you're not up to writing 50,000+, at least try to write this month, because it will be well worth it. 
      I love you guys, stay beautiful. 
 
     Not too long ago, my good friend Stone told me a story. Today I'd like to share it with you because I know at least personally when it comes the the beginning of a new school year I always seem to blow things out of perspective. And if that's how you feel too, and even if you don't, this story might just help:

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.He then asked the students if the jar was full.They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.He then asked the students again if the jar was full.They agreed that it was.The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.Of course, the sand filled up everything else.He asked once more if the jar was full.The students responded with a unanimous "yes."The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed."Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions - and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.The sand is everything else - the small stuff.""If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls."The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you."Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
     One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.The professor smiled.
     "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."


      Now, I want to ask you. As you were reading this, were there things that came to mind when you learned about the golf balls? What about the pebbles? The sand? And finally, the people you would share the coffee with?
      When Stone told me this story, things instantly came to mind when he told me of the golf balls. To me, the friendships I've made in Cambridge, my family, my friends at home, my health, my happiness and the happiness of those around me were all golf balls. And then when it came to pebbles I thought about school, my home, the internet that keeps me connected to those who live far away, etc. But I also realized that some of my pebbles were once thought to be golf balls in my life, when they really shouldn't have. Some things that seem important to us at one point in our lives may not be as important in the future. And sometimes we just blow things wildly out of proportion due to the stress level we are at and the given circumstance. 
      So I challenge you to this: Today tell that one person that you love them; connect with an old friend you've been meaning to talk to but never got around to it; call up your parents and thank them for everything they did; go out and do something that makes you happy; and finally, share a cup of coffee with a dear friend and just relax. Enjoy what you have, and don't dwell on what you don't. So always remember the mayonnaise jar, and the fact that with just the golf balls, your life is still full. And if you take care of the "small stuff" so be it, but make sure you set your priories and that the golf balls always come first. But no matter how full it is, there's still room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.
     Have a great day, and stay beautiful. With love, Natalie :)
 
Dear everyone,
     I am very mad because I have written you SIX beautiful - and very long - blog posts in the past four days, but every time I try to publish them my browser freaks out and closes down. Which mean I loose all of my efforts and am too infuriated to re-write it. Luckily, I've decided to switch over to Google Chrome which is SO MUCH BETTER. 
     So now I'm just mad, but I feel like I owe you a blog post because I haven't posted in over a month so let's just talk for awhile. 
   
     Hello, how are you? Good? That's great.....Okay, that's enough of that. 
     So yes, it's been over a month. I'm sorry. I've been too busy working on homework, reminiscing about Cambridge, working on my international collab [5Countries1Vlog] and getting used to the new school year. And yes, those are not good enough reasons to abandon you but that's okay. Anyways, I missed talking to you. I've missed our weird conversations, you know, the ones where I blog as if I'm talking to someone but I'm not and then you give NOTHING to the conversation. Yeah, I've missed those. And [just in case] you use with website to stay updated on my life - which I hope to god you don't because this site is the biggest fail in the world of fails - then just check me out on my Twitter instead because I use that at least once a day.
     So right now I'm being boring, and I don't have much to say to you. So I'm going to go, but look out for me tomorrow because tomorrow is MONDAY! [And this week's theme is Nerimon's YouTube Survey] Have a great day, guys. :) -Nat