It’s just that time of year, ain’t it? January rolls around and everyone drags themselves out of their cookie-induced coma that comes with the holidays decides to reinvent their wheel. Most revelations come in the form of New Year’s resolutions or here online, the yearly goals blog post/vlog. It’s a tradition in our modern society to take the start of the year as a chance to realize all the garbage parts of your life and say hey, I’m going to change that. Sometimes it’s going to the gym. Maybe drinking more water. One of mine was to combat the urge to drink Chick Fil A Polynesian sauce and just dip my nuggets like a normal person.
To each their own.
I’m always a bit tentative when it comes to setting goals, resolutions aspirations, whatever descriptor you’d like to bestow. I feel the pressure to be better year-round, and so I consciously try to avoid activities that might make that little nagging voice in my head worse. So while I will still be making a few suggestions (less aggressive?) to my inner-self, that’s not what I want to share today.
I’m pretty happy with who I am right now. I am by no means perfect (god forbid if I ever think I am) and I’m well aware that I have a lot I could improve on. I haven’t been to yoga in six months. I drink three times more tea than water. I need to get my credit card bill under control. I’m currently unemployed. I eat both KitKat sticks at the same time like a heathen. I know these things, and I acknowledge them, but even taking them into account, I’m still quite content with who I am. So today, even just for a moment, I will not be brainstorming for someone better to be but instead reintroducing you to me, caveats and all.
So hi, hello. My name is Hana, I’m (newly) 21 years old, I’m five feet and five inches tall and I have a nose not suited to holding up glasses. It’s very small. I grew up outside of Washington D.C. in a suburb that I counted down the days until I could escape. I’ve never been much for the suburbia lifestyle. I spent my childhood as a competitive ice skater (yes, I could do the tricks and twirls but now I have bad knees and a permanent back problem) who saw more of the ice than she did school or home.
I was raised in a very nuclear little family — just my mom, dad and I — and we’ve always had at least one cat in the household. I spent my high school years in a very dark place, battling both mental and physical health issues that still weren’t commonly accepted. Later diagnosed with severe anxiety and an eating disorder, I started therapy for the first time and just focused on trying to graduate.
I’m currently in my third year of college and planning to graduate in the spring of next year. I study beauty and fragrance marketing at an art school (yes I go to art school for marketing, leave me alone) and I have a minor in writing. I love my school, my major and my life there. I still struggle with anxiety but am trying a new combo of medication and therapy and am fully in recovery from the eating disorder. I legally live with my roommate Kylie (I say legally because my boyfriend Teddy and her girlfriend pretty much live with us too) and her cat Billie.
I’ve recently discovered that I have no hobbies. It was a very confusing and slightly upsetting realization so I’m working on changing that (I’ll keep you updated). I usually work two jobs during the school year, one off-campus (I just quit, shhh) and a second on campus for my college’s fashion magazine as Beauty Editor.
In any free time I can scrounge up, I like to go to the park — only if it’s the right weather, I’m a baby when I’m too hot, cold or if there’s any precipitation involved — with Teddy or friends. I enjoy medium-length walks into town to go to coffee shops where I mainly buy pastries because I don’t drink coffee anymore. I live for my Tuesday afternoon trips to the grocery store where my necessities are Oatly Oat Milk (I’m kinda lactose intolerant but refuse to give up cheese and just deal with the suffering), pre-cut bell pepper and onion medley for stir-frys and a fresh package of Greek olives. I decompress by watching youtube, listening to Florence and the Machine, plucking my eyebrows and putting beauty products on my Sephora wishlist.
I’ve had a year to think about why I write, what I want to write and who I want to write for — all relatively weighty questions, I know — and while I’m sure my answers will shift somewhat the next time my mood changes, this is what I have to say now.
I started blogging in 2015 because I thought it was the cool thing to do. It was right in the height of the Youtube and blogging culture when there wasn’t Beauty Gurus per se but mostly beauty b/vloggers. I was doe-eyed over Zoella, Fleur de Force, Ingrid Nelson, Tanya Burr and others (I’ve also had a special place in my heart for the Brits) and through them, I found the online beauty community. It blew my mind that companies were sending them products for free and even paying them to talk about them. What 16-year-old beauty lover wouldn’t want that?
So I started up my blog, hoping to be the next big thing, and while that didn’t happen (obviously) I’m so grateful that my teenage materialisticness was powerful enough for me to make the effort. Through blogging, I found that I loved to write. I found my voice, my humor and I figured out what I’m passionate about. I love storytelling and I really love talking, but I have a hard time actually getting words out. This blog gave me a safe space to talk about whatever I wanted whether it was my new favorite product, some social movement or an experience I had while finding my way in the world. It gave me a place to explore creativity and I firmly believe that everyone needs that.
I may have taken a hiatus from this platform but I never stopped writing because it is the only way I’ve found that I can share things I love or find interesting and enjoy doing it. Coming back to this platform, I’m determined to find my roots in writing. I still write about all the things I loved before (beauty, fashion, travel, lifestyle) but I also want to grow in my writing. Maybe I’ll tackle career, as I’m just starting out in that world. I could possibly sprinkle in a bit about relationships and sex (although I’ll be quite honest, I’m still pretty much a noob about those.) I might try and add in some social culture and sustainability pieces because they’re topics I find absolutely fascinating. But most of all, I want to share my life. From life lessons I’ve learned because they’ve smacked me in the face, storytimes with morals that come out of nowhere, or anecdotes that I think are funny and hope that you do too, I want to share.
I’ve shied away from sharing a lot of my life on the internet for one reason or another and I don’t like that it’s created a hollow online persona. I want to be more than that. Here are some things you may not know about me: I am a wine mom through and through but if you catch me at the right moment, vodka and I have a special bond; I don’t really like to go out and would much rather burrito myself in a blanket and stay home; I drive (poorly) a 2008 black Volkswagen Beetle; I am always wearing at least two rings; part of my spine is fused to my tailbone; I can’t stand Rom-Coms; I have seen Gilmore Girls at least seven times through; I am always too cold or too hot, I really can’t win; I function on a constant level of stress and anxiety and don’t know what to do with myself when it alleviates; I really enjoy the feeling of holding your pee for a long time and then experiencing the sweet relief of using the toilet; I have accidentally given myself a UTI with the aforementioned pee holding. Don’t recommend.
With this new level of transparency and realness, I’m not quite sure who will be reading. Maybe it’ll just be my parents (hi Mom, hi Dad) or maybe just some friends who stumble across the link on the gram *waves*. Or maybe it’ll be someone new looking for a laugh or searching for exactly what happens when you rent your first apartment or desperate for a product to get rid of the flaking chin skin.
So, whoever you are, for whatever reason you’re here, this is me, and I hope you stay awhile.
*The inspiration from this piece comes from both Chloe Plumstead and Lucy Moon who have both produced similar content this year. Thank you, ladies.*