Monday, September 25, 2017

Blogging: Expectations Vs Reality

If you are reading this and it is a Monday then I have officially started my new schedule which I feel really really good about. If you didn't see my last post you might not know I live in Houston and I flooded and things have been kind of hectic and I think this new schedule is me trying to make at least part of my life kind of not crazy because blogging is a pretty big part of my life. Ok, now that I got that part out of the way I am super excited to announce that this post is a collab with the one and only Charis Rae!  She is an amazing blogger who recently switched blogs and had a blog tour which fun fact I participated in.  She is like that blogger who is super organized and has an email list and self-hosts and an amazing design and pretty much everything else. So a couple weeks ago I contacted her asking her if she wanted to collab and she replied which is awesome in and of itself so we decided we would do a blogging expectation vs reality post. It was scheduled for the 2nd but then Harvey happened so of course, I couldn't post it. I probably changed the date I wanted to post this like ten times so thank you, Charis, for being so cool about but now the time has finally come. So if you are reading this you are either a blogger or just a blog reader. This post will probably be amusing for both of these kinds of people/other living beings (you can't forget about the unicorns) so feel free to keep reading. When I started blogging I believed pretty much all of this so like don't feel bad.

Getting Followers

"I will become popular overnight"


"No one will ever follow me and I will be alone forever!"

There are actually two expectations that people have for this which is kind of interesting. I would say the main one is that it is super easy to get new followers and that everyone will flock to your blog. The second would be the opposite which is thinking that no one will go to your blog like ever. That's actually kind of sad. 

  sad crying cry pikachu GIF

The reality would have to be somewhere in between. Yes if you are a good blogger that posts consistent and engaging content then people will look at your blog. But it probably won't be super quick as some people might like you to believe. Things like going viral or becoming an overnight sensation actually happen less often than some people might think. 

Taking Pictures

"I will have the cleanest cutest photos ever and they will be shot on my actual camera."

The expectation is pretty much that you will take the best pictures on the planet if it is super clean flat lays or exotic travel pics. The other part of this is that you think you will use an "actual camera" to shoot all of these photos. 

 camera canon GIF

Ok so at least for me I already loved photography before I started this blog and I loved the idea of taking photos on an "actual camera". What I meant by that is pretty much any camera that is not a phone camera. The reality of this is that a lot of phones are better than "actual cameras" and the cameras that are better than phones are super complicated and also expensive which is why I don't have one. Also, the thing is that photography it is a lot harder than some people think. With phones now people can take some pretty good pictures all on their own for maybe Instagram once or twice a week or just a picture of a family. For blogging though you usually need quite a bit of photos that are not fuzzy and pretty good quality which can be hard at times. 

Making Money

"I will just post and I will get like a million dollars."

Some people go into blogging solely to get money because the expectation of things like blogging and being a youtube or general social media star is that you can become rich and famous and it is super easy. 

 reactions money spongebob cash rich GIF

Sadly that is not the case or I would have bought myself an "actual camera" by now. There are a lot of ways to make money that is true. There are things like advertisements and working with brands. Things like getting brands to work with you or placing ads in a place that will actually look ok though is pretty hard. I have researched this quite a bit so you can believe me. 

Post Ideas And Authenticness 

"All of my posts will be amazing and beautiful and original. "

Because of course, you are like the best human on the planet you think your posts will be amazing and original and you would of course never steal an idea or do anything like that. 
The reality is that one writer's block or bloggers block is very real and running out of ideas is a huge problem. Like you know those times when your mind is like a literal blank space and your just like "I can not think at all right now!"? But even if you do come up with a blog post idea which can happen sometimes I bet you like a million dollars it isn't truly original. The internet is so big and humongous and kind of crazy that pretty much anything you do has been done before. 

 taylor swift blank space taylurking lyme disease chronic illness GIF

Actual footage of me trying to think of blog post ideas. 

First, make sure to go check out Charis's  blog because it is pretty awesome and she is doing her own expectation vs reality post which is also very awesome. Second, my birthday is in 9 days and I'm turning 13 so I am officially accepting happy birthday wishes and both real and virtual cake/gifts/giphs. Third I might do a bigger post on this later but I feel like I have changed a lot this year. Like I am a lot more out there. I literally wore stickers on my face to a restaurant recently which you could take as me acting like a kid or just me being me. Like I'm not even sure. And of course, if you liked this post make sure to follow using either the little blogger gadget over to the left or Bloglovin which you can find right above it or right here. 

Are you a blogger? What was something you believed when you started blogging that turned out not to be true? Do you agree with anything on this list? Did I totally blow your mind with my post (the answer to this is of course yes)?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My Story Of Hurricane Harvey Including My House Flooding, Swimming In The Middle Of The Street, + A Bunch Of Other Super Weird stuff

Hi. Hello. Wooowww. It's weird to get on a computer again. It feels like forever since I posted although it's only been a couple weeks. To be precise the last time I posted it was the 25th of August and today is the 16th of September so that is *tries to do the math and fails* Ummm a long time. You know of those books where the main character is like "it seems so long ago even though it was only two days ago and I have changed so much I feel like a different person"? Yeah, that's how I feel which really shouldn't be the case. Soooooo.... If you haven't heard yet Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey hit Texas especially Houston pretty hard recently. As I type this it's pretty much over and almost everyone has moved onto Irma because hurricane season is just so fun *sarcasm intended*. You probably don't know but I live in Houston, Texas. It's an amazing city that is the 4th largest in the country and home to amazing cultures and people and places. One interesting flaw about it though is that it floods quite easily. I have now been through three floods in the past 2 and half years. I'm not even exaggerating. The first two times though were a lot smaller which is why you probably didn't hear about it. A lot of my friends flooded but thankfully I didn't. This time I wasn't so lucky. I thought why not make something of what happened and write a blog post about it. It helps me and maybe it will be entertaining to you. First, though I'm going to address why I haven't posted. At first, it was because of course flooding and now it is because we just got the internet in the house we are staying in and my computer charger somehow died and we just got a new one. Lots of fun things.

I put stickers on my face. Deal with it. 

I had heard about the hurricane of course and I was kind of scared but I thought it would be ok. On Friday, August 25th (the big thing was on Sunday) I woke up and the sky was dark and It looked like nighttime. This had happened before though so I wasn't so scared. Houston seems to either be in a drought or just raining all the time. Haha. So I went to check my phone and opened my news app because I'm a weird 12 year old who does things like that.  I was kind of surprised to find that pretty much everything was about the storm. This made it a lot more real in my mind. I hadn't really comprehended how bad it would be until then. 
My parents were already awake and my mom looked worried and told me and my sisters we would have to do a lot of stuff today to prepare. So that is exactly what we did all day. We rolled up all of the carpets (which I find pointless but my dad said some of them were "priceless" so I gave up arguing). After doing that we got a bunch of cans and put them under basically every single piece of furniture in the house. At this point, my mom had started talking about things like getting on the roof and needing a ladder if the water got that high. I still didn't think we would flood though. Once done with raising the furniture we picked up everything we could off of the floor. I again thought that this was pointless but it turned out to save a lot of my things. It was around 12:00 when we finished doing everything. I got on my computer and posted this post. You can see from that post I don't think I will flood. By the time I posted this video though I was almost sure it would flood. 
The next day I wake up and it was of course raining. I looked at my phone and once again the storm was the front page of everything. Maybe I was just in a really sad mood but I think that is the point that I decided and finally realized we would flood. There was this humongous Category 4 (it went down to a tropical storm but at the time) Hurricane coming directly towards Houston. Houston floods just when it rains for a couple hours. I don't remember that much of what happened that day but I do remember going to the store a couple times and so many things being sold out. It was like the end of the world or something. It was pretty much all of the disasters "grab everything from the store" movies but in real life. I think maybe a couple of my sister's friends came over but I'm not really sure. Also, I made cupcakes. Those were amazing. Just saying. I do have some skill cooking wise. Sometimes. At around 8:00 there started to be a tornado warning so we went in the hallway and played risk. I'm pretty sure the bayous (things that hold water) hadn't overflowed. Then I, of course, get a call from my friend and the water is literally up to her door. This scares me because her area isn't supposed to flood. It's all very weird and hectic and just kind of horrible. At maybe 9:45 I get in bed and although it takes me a while to fall asleep I finally do.
I woke up the next day at around 5:30 to the lights on and footsteps in the hallway. My mind doesn't immediately go to flooding though which interests me. Instead, I just thought that my dad had woken up early as he does sometimes. After maybe 10 minutes he basically barges into my room and says water is coming into the house. I have an interesting thing where when something bad happens I tend to smile and laugh. This is not because I have no heart or feelings but I think it is a coping mechanism. I'm not sure. But like if you tell me someone died and I smile it's because of that. So when he told me that I just kind of smiled put on my clothes and half walked half ran out of my room. I was going to the living room when I noticed our bathroom and how it was totally absolutely under water. I would think in a situation like this I would be thinking about like life and all that but I was more thinking about how it was a cool adventure. It might be because I was tired but it might have also been because I had already told myself it would flood so it wasn't really a surprise. I put on my rain boots and for the next hour or so we worked to get everything together. We were already prepared for flooding but we put towels near the door and raised all of the furniture higher and stuff like that.
I'm not exactly sure but I think after maybe an hour or two all of the floors were covered in water. Like that is all it took to pretty much destroy the house. Once we had done everything we could for a while we just sat. It had been raining the whole time and water was rising.  I am not sure when but at some point, the water got so high to the electrical and the dishwasher caught on fire and we put it out quickly but after that, we had to cut the power. At around 8:00 the water got to about 1 feet in the house and at 10:00 2 feet. At about 10:15 we decided to go to the neighbor's house because staying in our house was both dangerous and absolutely torture. The neighbor was 8 houses down and had two stories so all though that wasn't ideal it was a lot better than us. So we started packing all of the stuff that we could and making sure that we had done everything. At this point outside of our house there was maybe 4 feet of water and on the street at least 5 so there was a lot of boats and kayaks going around which is kind of crazy now that I think about it. We got someone we knew to take my mom and my two sisters to the house and me and my dad stayed. All through this whole thing I was thinking about my grandparents who lived right next door. My Teta (grandma) has a bad knee so she slips quite easily and I was getting very very scared something would happen to her.  When the guy came back my dad asked him if he could pick up my grandparents and bring him to the house. He said yes but after he picked up someone else first. The water kept rising and I was getting scared I wouldn't be able to stand outside of the house so then me and my dad got out stuff and walked outside. Can I just comment on how crazy this experience was? The water was almost to my shoulders in our front yard. Like that should never happen. So when we were satisfied we wouldn't die we walked over to the neighbor's house. I remember thinking how cool it was to see the dry ground because I hadn't seen that in like 8 million hours. After we arrived my dad went back to get the rest of our stuff and to check on my grandparents. He did that a couple times which had to have been torture for him until my mom said that the guy probably forgot and that they should just walk here. This whole time I was getting very very scared. As I said my grandparents are old and short and not in the best medical condition. It was both dangerous for them to try to walk to the house but also to stay at their house. I was personally against them trying to walk over here but my mom said they should because the water might keep rising. They did arrive safely but that was definitely one of the scariest (emotionally) things I have gone through. I think it was around 11:30 at this point and I was seriously getting hungry so I ate some chips that the guy had. I am not exactly sure what time but I am guessing around 5-6 my mom gets texts from her friends saying that we need to get out of the house and that it could be dangerous even in a second story. This makes her totally freak out so when we see a boat we ask them if they can bring us to the Kroger which is being used as like a pickup center and they say yes. This was both fun and kind of crazy because we literally slid down the roof onto the boat. Both scary and awesome. They drop us off at the Kroger and we wait there for a while for one of my mom's cousins who has a boat to come pick us up. He ends up not being able to get there and that is when I see like legit military national guard army trucks driving through my neighborhood in like 6 feet water. I mean that's kind of cool. We figure out that they're going to pick up everyone at the Kroger and bring them to the convention center that they are using as a humongous shelter. I remember telling my dad about a book that I read about hurricane Katrina and how some people died in the convention center. I'm not sure where I was going with that but I think deep down I might have been a little scared. The people let me and my sisters sit in the front where there was a cover but my mom and grandparents had to sit in the back where there was no cover at all whatsoever. Take in mind that it was still raining and the drive was at least 30 minutes to the center. I was talking to the guy who was driving us and I found out that the trucks are actual army trucks that are used to transport weapons and ammo. Not really made for people. I seriously feel so bad for my parents and grandparents and everyone who had to go through that. Me and my sisters were very very lucky. We got to the center and sign in and at this point, we are still pretty intent on going to a hotel or something so we call on our already drained phones and of course, find out that they are all full or closed because of course. It is now around 10/11 pm and we are all tired and wet and just kind of miserable. We decided to just give up and sleep there. They had cots and blankets and food and clothes which are basically all we wanted at the moment. We run into a couple of people we know so we get cots near them and after like two minutes I am fast asleep. The following morning my friend's dad came to pick us up.
I have the coolest friends pretty much ever so one of my friends let us stay at her house for I think about a week. It was so crazy going back to my house. Like wow. I can't even really describe it and because I'm a complete lunatic I don't have any pictures. Over that week my mom and dad and so many amazing people who came to help pack up all of our stuff, knock out the walls, and just generally clean. It's so weird seeing your house without walls like a bare slate because you have so many memories there. The neighborhood that I live in is very flood prone and I am going to say at least 3 quarters of the whole neighborhood flooded so when you drive or walk around there its just kind of devastating. There are piles of old furniture and pieces of flooring and walls and it makes me truly kind of sad. After maybe a week and a half of staying at peoples houses we finally moved into our own place which is where we are now. We were so so lucky because we had a house we were about to sell that did not flood so that is where we are staying now. The annoying thing was that it didn't have any furniture so I only got a bed two days ago and beds are good so it's kind of annoying.
 The generosity of people though all throughout this was amazing. The pastor from our church was at our house like every day that week just helping and so many people that we didn't even know came to help. Something I found kind of cool but also funny is that there were people just on the back of trucks handing out food. Like that is so awesome. I think up until a couple days ago and maybe now though there were/are houses that are still flooded. The reason for this is because there was something that held water that had so much water that it was going to break. The city decided that instead of letting it break they would instead release it slowly. I feel like this was a logical decision but also one that made so many more homes flood. Speaking of the city shoutout of to our Houston Mayor who is just kind of awesome and I think did a very good job throughout this whole thing. Another shoutout to the people who have people who have been bringing us dinner these past few days. Especially whoever brought the swirly brownies. Like those things were amazing. School wise my sisters school flooded so they can't open again until a bit later and in a different location but my school thankfully didn't. It started this Monday and I have been kind of loving it so far but now that we live so far away we have to get up earlier then we are used to and my parents drive me and it's a whole thing.

First I'm going to hopefully be posting every Monday so if you were wondering that is my new schedule. But also I'm not like back back as I still don't have internet so there is that. Ok so just to make it clear I did not write this post because I want everyone to say how sorry they are in the comments. I know this might be a bit harsh but I have heard enough of that already. There are a couple things you can do to help though. Number one is if you have any friends or family that was affected by the storm then reach out to them and ask them what you can do. If you have not been through a flood then you will not know all of the stuff you have to do. Like it's crazy. If you don't live near the people then you can still help. My mom set up like a wish list thing online so if you know anyone ask them if they have something like that or if you can help research something or call someone or anything. Number two if you don't know anyone but you still want to help then donate. There are so many amazing organizations out there that are/were helping people and it's really cool. I don't actually know that many but you should totally research it. Number three follow my blog and tell me how amazing I am in the comments. It helps, it really does.

Have you ever been through a flood? Has your house ever flooded? Have you ever been through a hurricane? Have you ever been through any type of natural disaster? Did you know about Harvey before you read this post? Should I do more story type posts like this?

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