ClaytonGerard.com: A New Chapter

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Hello all! I am pleased to bring to you all the launch of the project that I have been working on for the last few months. After starting my blog in 2012, I knew that I wanted to expand down the road by taking the blog to my own domain. I knew that I wanted to create a domain that featured my own work and was just simply my name alike the name of this blog. I am pleased to announce the start of a whole new chapter of my life as a blogger. While this is as exciting as it is, this also brings a close to a current project, being this blog.

No worries though, I’m just moving homes! This blog will now function as an archive for the most part, as I am moving to a new domain. I thank you for all who have supported my blogging on this journey and I cannot wait to post more! Have a good one and see you in the new digs!

CLAYTONGERARD.COM

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Social Media Spring Cleaning

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I have spent the last few months analyzing social media to find what is really the benefit of using it or how dangerous it can be. We all know that most of us thrive on social media and that it is almost a necessity of communication for my generation as a whole. The realm of social media has turned into a very efficient and prosperous place if you used correctly. If used inappropriately, it can be a much more toxic environment that can send your brain into pool of paranoia and distress. I have found myself under this intoxicating spell for the last few years, and I have been trying to discover a solution to better my use of the Internet.

IT’S ALL BALANCE

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you would know that I firmly believe in balance, as I am sure that much of you would agree to as well. I feel this especially comes into play when discussing the uses of social media. There is, however a much more defined line in the realm of the online world that makes what you share with the world appropriate or just blatant over sharing! You must find a balance of what you are willing to share that is serious, rad, interesting, or even a little combative.

If you find that you are much more confident and willing to say things you wouldn’t in person, you probably are not in the right means to post what you want. That can be very dangerous, and I know I have been in that boat many times, where what may seem right to post at the time, may come to be super inappropriate a night’s sleep later.

SPRING CLEANING

I have learned to only present a problem to the table if you are only going to present a solution as well. If you are like me and find yourself connected to dead-ends of the Internet that may draw that toxic stench of inappropriate sharing, it may not be a bad idea to analyze your accounts every couple months and clean out the “dust bunnies” if you will. For me that meant deleting an account that accumulated so much filth from years ago. Now that is in an extreme case, but I can definitely tell you if something you are communicating online feels uncomfortable, deleting or rearranging feels so liberating that you will be celebrating once you do it.

On a smaller scale, you may find yourself unfollowing some accounts that may come off offensive or luring in a negative way to your presence as a person. Since we are so interconnected with social media now, it is not all left at our desktops now, it is everywhere. I can promise you that rearranging your follow count helps. I did a majority of unfollowing of tabloids, and gossip Twitters for they serve a negative purpose.

IN CLOSING

You may not even find yourself having to do a check up on your social media involvement with other people every now and then. There is a benefit for doing so though, especially if you feel a negative presence every time you log onto your social networks. Remember too, there is nothing personal with unfollowing  an account that does not suit your taste. It is just like putting a book back on the bookshelf. All I encourage you to do is at least step back and check to see what you are getting out of social media. Have a great rest of the week readers! xxoo

On Giving Thanks

November 28th, 2013

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Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that’s importance comes along with the contemplation of the importance of the holiday itself. As I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade I am reflecting on what I am actual thankful for in my life. When I open up a new tab for my blog I shudder at the most recent post date is November 4th. I have not even been able to get myself to formulate a cliche post with excuses about why I haven’t posted.

That is when I stopped. Excuses? I should not have to feel sorry for the other accomplishments I have been focusing on my lifetime for my senior year. I gave way to turning my excuses into positive means of things to be blessed with.

Here are some things I have be thankful for on this day:

  • Performing for a lead role in my last high school, fall play.
  • Receiving A’s on all of my school work this past trimester.
  • Maintaining photo jobs throughout the season.
  • Performing in choir for a choral festival across the state.
  • Developing a portfolio for school.
  • Getting accepted to all of the universities I have applied to for school.
  • Still keeping a strong relationship with my recently-moved sister.
  • Being able to stay close with friends.
  • Enjoying my senior year!

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So while these are only some monumental things I highlight to be thankful for today, I have come to love Thanksgiving every year when I take a step back  forgetting all of the great food, following sales of the day, and remember the true importance of the holiday and reflections that come from it. I hope you all have a great holiday and I am glad to be back in my writing game. Don’t eat too much turkey now. Happy Thanksgiving!  xxoo

Re: Getting Out of My Funk

September 28th, 2013

You Can't Stop the Waves, but You Can Learn to Surf by Christopher Vinca

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Now being a few weeks into school, I definitely have noticed the dry aura of my blog and writing. I actually noticed this with a lot of aspects in my life. Eating, physical activity, etc. While I have been productive in my studies and extra curricular activities through high school I still was not completely satisfied. I did have an epiphany though through a post from none other then Gala Darling!

She wrote a post earlier this week with her own experiences of being in mental slum the last few days. I had been dealing with this for the last couple of weeks on and off but I could not really pin point what this actually was. To my surprise, as I continued reading I was diagnosed perfectly! I was even more relieved to know that it was normal to get in states alike this one! Gala then shared some quick and easy routinely things that got her back into her groove, most of which I tried and definitely helped. I also added some things myself that I have been doing this past week that may help you get out of your funk as well.

I cleaned my workspace.

This is one that definitely boosted my motivation to work. After papers on papers of college prep, school work, and various magazine subscription cards, my workspace was getting very cluttered and I wanted to spend less and less time in that setting. Once I took a very reasonable amount of time just to rearrange and organize, I wanted to get right to work as soon as possible. It’s much more motivating to be working in a setting that you enjoy.

I drank something new.

I know that chai tea is not a substance foreign to my palate, but I definitely have not had it in a long time, and boy I was missing out. It has been much more tempting to buy the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and Carmel Iced Mochas from Starbucks but this drink for one, is cheaper and two, has less calories, and I think that chai is just as sweet as many of the other drinks on the menu. Changing things up for either healthier alternatives or just for the hell of it, can just be a small jolt that may bump you back into positivity. This could also be achieved with foods as well.

I slept… less?

Another habit I tend to fall into during the school year is sleeping about an hour after I arrive home from school. It sounds heavenly that I have the time to sleep after school, but all it does is keep me up later then I should be and leaves less time for me to work on projects outside of school. Staying awake with a snack adjusts my sleeping schedule to something a little more humane where I am tired at the time I should be going to bed with a long day of productivity behind me.

I enjoyed my free time.

Tied with the amount of sleep I have accumulated of the last couple weeks, it was something that occupied a lot of my post school free time. This involved most of my day spent sleeping or just being lazy which drew me from outside work and other outside activities I wanted to complete in the afternoon. Getting off my lazy butt helped me actually do things I enjoy, and the fact I use my free time to it’s full potential increases productivity and a positive mood.

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Me too, Gala I am glad to be out of my own funk and actually getting back into my own work. I feel much more productive and am enjoying the school year much more again! I hope these tips help, and thanks Gala for inspiring this post and helping me get out of my own sour mood as well! Have a good one readers! xxoo

+Photo Credit: http://designspiration.net/

+Gala’s Original Post

Cheers To The Senior Year: An Open Letter

September 16th, 2013

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This is an open statement, letter, or reflection to make the most out of the school year to come. Already a few weeks in, and this school year has already been pleasant. My confidence has quadrupled since I was just a small freshman, and I am really starting to figure out what I want to do with my life. I know this year will already take me by storm, and it will be over before I know it, so I know I today have some things I want to make sure I remember to tell myself.

First being, this year will end, and once the year ends the relationships you have spent building these last four years will now all have a different dynamic which includes distance and different priorities, so do not take the the time you have with them this year for granted. Secondly, do not forget that the year still matters and do not let age hold you back from aiming towards success.

Finally, while it may be more fun and angsty to deny school spirit, get crazy and dress your school colors. Go to the football games, and get involved. You’ll be too busy to care about school spirit in college.

Things are about to change for you, and you need to not realize anything about that. Yes, a plan is definitely necessary, but enjoy the time you have in high school, and leave behind the things that will keep you from making amazing memories for the months to come.

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Going through senior year is a definite sign that a new chapter in my life is about to be written, and I am trying to reflect and taking time to slow down and make sure I live in the moment, staying spiritually balanced. I hope you got something out of this whether you are entering your senior year as well, or things are changing in your lives as well. Have a good week readers.

 

 

Hello From The Sky: Simple Pleasures

August 19th, 2013

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+Happy Monday readers! I am still pulling my thoughts and memories together from this past trip. I am really finding out quickly how much I adore travel and being so far away from my normal habitat. While it is good to be back home after a long time away from home, traveling is a euphoria in which we are living a life outside of anything like our normal routine, and that’s what makes travel so exciting!

+I am going to be honest with you, I had anxiety out of my mind before flying last week. I hadn’t flown on a plane since I was nine years old in 2006 and I was already afraid of flying, yet I loved the idea of air travel. It was a weird concept to be afraid of something you find so extraordinary.

+My first flight from my trip began with a lot of nerves and a surely beating heart. The feeling of “life or death” that hits your mind as you race down the runway waiting to see lift off is unreal the first time. You then feel the sigh of relief as you get through the clouds and everything is smooth in the Troposphere. At that moment, I could think about where I was and just observe.

+I envy those who travel on the regular, I envy that there are people who get to be more in common with the views from an air craft and the world above. The perspective is so foreign to you where it creates a mix of anxiety and wonder.

+Looking back on it now, it is easy to be envious of that view because when you are up there cruising through aerospace, it is just so much more peaceful. If you can manage to drown out the sounds of the little piece of society that is flying up there with you, you can take in the wonder of air travel.

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I hope you got something out of this little reflective piece I worked on this past weekend. I find myself trying to get the most spiritually when I go somewhere new, and I always seem to end up taking it all in after I am home and feeling nostalgic. I hope you enjoy your weeks readers, and I encourage you to be more observant of your surroundings when you are somewhere new. You might find something extraordinary in the simplest of places. xxoo

Summer Nights: Deck Party

July 22nd, 2013

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+Hello all, happy Monday! This past week I spent a lot of time getting back into the swing of things after a week of service at the Quad Cities. I have also been catching up with a lot of friends, and that included an evening around home at Matisse’s house.

+We spent the evening just chilling on the deck with some music, and laughs. Matisse and I discussed blogging a bit and attempted to make a video that definitely did not turn out, haha! But nonetheless, considering the heat the past week, this evening was very chill and not to hot. I really thought about it, and appreciate Michigan Summers for days just like this.(especially in my hamburger socks from Target!)

+Now that it is already creeping towards the end of July, I have really thought about how fast this Summer break is going, and still all I want to get done. I still have a week up in Northern Michigan, a week in Pennsylvania, and there is only about a month left. That previous thought left me wondering about what I want to do with the rest of my Summer. I want to be as productive as possible, while still being able to look back on cool experiences. I know I still have a lot of things on my mental-bucket-list for the Summer I still want to cross off, and this night was something that wasn’t even on it, but it was very sentimental to me all in all.

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+I know we all, especially in my age group run into this situation every year during the midst of the Summer season. I will now be basking in the week I have up North, and also the last month I have of this wonderful Summer. I encourage you to do the same! Have a good one readers! xxoo