No Sophomore Slump Allowed!

Leading off with 3 things:

  • Current song in my head: “That’s What I Like” – Bruno Mars (heard a piece of this in an hour-long mash-up during gym class this morning, and of course this is what sticks. He’s too catchy for his own good)
  • Recent CBus adventure: IKEA! Honestly, this visit was the fastest, most peaceful and efficient Ikea trip I’d ever been on in my life. We bought a picture frame, dish drainer and huge new entertainment center. No domestic disputes, in and out in probably an hour. We walked in there with a mission, people!
  • West Virginia fun fact: This one is somewhat timely, and just in case someone stumbles across this little ol’ blog, I want to make sure they leave here knowing – Katherine Johnson turned 99 on Aug. 26. She was born in White Sulphur Springs in Southern WV, graduated from college at age 18 and grew up to be the extraordinary NASA mathematician who calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space. You may know her from the movie “Hidden Figures.”

Hello again! Welcome to Blog #2! Life in the Buckeye State is still wonderful, and I hear tomorrow night is OSU’s season opener, so it may be a great time to go shopping or explore the city while everyone is distracted. I made two quick trips back to Charleston, WV this week – Saturday for a Rotary assembly to speak about attracting new members and yesterday for my eye doctor. I’m due for a drive to the Northern Panhandle soon! I have some exciting news on the job front, just as I was starting to get a little antsy about all this time on my hands, but I can’t share too many details just yet. The important thing is I’ll be working part-time, which may be the best kind of funemployment, I’ll let you know! 🙂

I’d been thinking of what to write about this week, and I had a few very rough ideas, but on my way home from the gym today (It’s #WritingWednesday! The pressure was on!) I glanced at my Twitter alerts, and this was one of those “in case you missed it” Tweets, which I almost always appreciate Twitter telling me about.

My lovely friend Candace Nelson (who helps promote WV on social media for a living, literally wrote the book on Pepperoni Rolls AND has a killer food blog you may have heard of!) had asked her Twitter-sphere for the best advice they’d ever received. My other lovely friend Jessica Wintz-Adams (who is super involved in all things WV and also has a fun blog that is a must-read for any bride-to-be!) responded with advice that made me stop and nod my head. I always loved doing Q&A interviews that asked a variation of this.

And then the light bulb went off. This is what I want to blog about this week! Then, as if my hard-headed self needed another hint, lovely friend Amelia (who works as the editor of The Contributor and covers homelessness and poverty issues) sent me the sweetest message a few hours later about adjusting to all the new and different things in my life right now. Her words of wisdom for me?


Wow. My brain was already stringing this together after seeing Jess and Candace’s exchange. Each chapter of my life so far I’ve been blessed with words of wisdom that ring so true and carry me through, either to calm waters or to the next rough patch to get through. Isn’t it funny how you sometimes just latch on to a lesson or mantra for a few weeks or months or longer?

Some of my favorites?

  • Worry Less, Rock Out More (I once had this printed and hanging in my cubicle as a reminder from my mentor who soon went on to much, much bigger things. He may have been over-served at the Red Carpet when he told me this, but damn if I didn’t embrace it for the next year or two while I built some early career confidence.)
  • If you can’t enjoy your own company, who the hell can? (This came from my older brother Matt, which was really comforting when I got through the agony and sadness of a bad breakup and started to find myself again.)
  • Keep Your Head Down and Run Your Own Race (I don’t even know when/where I first heard this, but it helped push me through a lot of long, grueling work days and projects. I’ve repeated it to many co-workers. It’s really easy to get distracted by comparison. It can derail you if you’re not careful. But if you do what you know you need to do or you’re supposed to be doing, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.)

I’ve gotten so much amazing advice from friends, family and coworkers over the years. I’m a big fan of positive sayings and uplifting quotes (which a dear friend picks on me about. It’s OK, Meg, I know I’m an annoying optimist sometimes!) and I always think if something resonates with me, it probably will help someone else. I even bought an app that helps you create word-heavy graphics, and I LOVE it, but I did make some practice quotes like this one to help me get the hang of it. Dre can be very motivational! 🙂


Author: AskAnnAli

I'm a former journalist and political commentator learning to love living in the Columbus, OH area after spending my entire life in West Virginia. I'm a wife, a cat mom, Rotarian, Type A Pittsburgh enthusiast.

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