Saturday, December 27, 2014

Creating and Deleting


I don't think I'm alone in cringing when reviewing something I created years ago, whatever that creation might be: a blog post, Facebook post, a YouTube video, a story, or even a picture of myself during middle school because that, too (my identity), was something I was in the process of creating.

Yes, this is a middle-school-aged picture of me at camp...
Most the time I just want to hit DELETE or toss my writings in the trash, but as I mature over time I've come to truly appreciate my older creations. It's interesting to see how I conceptualized the world during certain periods of my life. Like for instance, during my back surgeries (an incredibly hellish point in my life), I was surprised/not surprised to discover that I had a great sense of humor. Sure, I vented about my frustrations and certain words are blurred from tears that fell onto the pages, but I was also funny and even joked about all the craziness in my life. It makes me really proud of my sixteen-year-old self, to know how optimistic I was.

Then there are moments in my past journals that make me not so proud, especially when I find something rather hateful I said. It's embarrassing to realize that version of me ever existed. These are the kinds of things I'd love to burn, erase, make disappear forever.

But here's the thing: While I can destroy these documentations, the fact that that version of me existed at one point in time can never be erased. It happened and there's nothing I can do about it.

So I just have to accept it, move on, and be happy about who I am now and how that, too, will evolve over time.

I write this because it's scary to create and to put yourself out there. I've been thinking about this frequently as I work on The Be Ok Blog and plan other future creations (such as a second novel, YouTube channel, and heck, even graduating college).

I just want to encourage you not to delete and instead continue to create. It's quite unfortunate sometimes because I'll think too much about what I did or didn't do in the past--wishing I could delete something--and it takes time and energies away from my present and what I could be creating. Still mastering this.

Here are some videos I wanted to share with you on this subject:

Blog to you later!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Favorite Music of 2014


So at the end of every year I make a list of my favorite music I heard that year--this list doesn't necessary mean songs that only came out in 2014, but songs that were also introduced to me during this year and also songs I listened to on repeat. In no particular order, here it is:

  1. Welcome Home by Radical Face
  2. Shake It Off  by Taylor Swift
  3. Budapest by George Ezra 
  4. All About That Bass  by Meghan Trainor 
  5. The Hanging Tree by Jennifer Lawrence
  6. Take Me to Church  by Hozier 
  7. Beware of the Dog by The Griswolds 
  8. Riptide by Vance Joy 
  9. Play With Fire by Vance Joy 
  10. Mess is Mine by Vance Joy 
  11. Moonage Day by David Bowie 
  12. Turn Down for What by Lil Jon
  13. End of the Affair by Ben Howard
  14. Old Pine by Ben Howard
  15. Oceans by Hillsong United
  16. Hillsong United - ZION Acoustic 
  17. Greater by Mercy Me 
  18. Shake by Mercy Me 
  19. Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede 
  20. Boom Clap by Charli XCX 
  21. Choosing Dauntless from the Divergent Score 
  22. I Need You by M83 
  23. Wait by M83 
  24. All I Want by Kodaline 
  25. Long Way Down by Tom Odell
  26. Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept. 
  27. Not About Angels by Birdy 
  28. Skinny Love by Bon Iver 
  29. The Girl by City and Colour
  30. My Blood by Ellie Goulding 
  31. Don't Wanna Dance by MO (saw in concert this year) 
  32. Hanging On by Ellie Goulding 
  33. Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding 
  34. New Years Eve by First Aid Kit 
  35. Simple As This by Jake Bugg
  36. Secrets by Mary Lambert  
  37. Ordinary Human by One Republic 
  38. What You Wanted by One Republic 
  39. Love Runs Out by One Republic 
  40. I Lived by One Republic 
  41. Let Me In by Grouplove 
  42. Shark Attack by Grouplove 
  43. The Fault in Our Stars Score by Mike Mogis & Nathaniel Walcott 
  44. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Score by James Newton Howard 
And the MOST PLAYED SONG OF THE YEAR AWARD goes to: The Walker by Fitz & The Tantrums 

I think that's about it for now... I may add more later if I remember them! 

How about you? 
What were your favorite songs from 2014?


Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Finals Week

Happy Finals Week!
I've come to provide some comic relief.

Keep calm. 

Take advantage of puppy stress relief if your campus provides it. As my professor once said: "Puppies are wonderful." 

Take care of yourself. Get sleep. Eat well. Exercise. 
Nope, it's reality. Face it! 

Have confidence going into your finals!
Listen to those who have faith in you! 

Don't forget to breathe. 

Get your game face on!

When you don't know the answer to that ONE question... 
When you're cruising through your final. 

When you finish your finals! 

Celebrate with ice cream. 
Good luck everyone!
Blog to you later! 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Term 2014 Dead Week (Last One As An Undergraduate Student)


Good luck to everyone dealing with dead week right now! 

Finding out it's dead week. 

Becoming overwhelmed. 

Fake it until you make it.

Try to find some time to relax. 
How you feel when you're done with your finals!

Blog to you later! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful for Vickie

Me and Vickie. 
So last Thursday night I saw "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" which was incredibly frustrating since it's only the first half of the story. I left the theatre feeling annoyed and pissed off rather than satisfied and wowed like I did with "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." And... I have to wait a whole freaking year until the second half of the story comes out.
That. Just. Sucks.

First world problems, eh?

Anyhow, it was not my intention to complain about how unfair it was of Lionsgate to split the movie into two parts, but to rather tell you an interesting story of how I met my Godmother Vickie.

You: Wait, that's random?
Me: I know, I know. I realize this, especially since I just opened up with The Hunger Games, but trust me... there's a connection.

So, I met Vickie last year at the midnight release of Catching Fire, while waiting in line at Regal Cinemas Bridgeport. Four of my friends and I sat on the cold tiled floor of the lobby with our backs against the wall (yeah, super comfy, right?). I, however, was the only one dressed up. The kind of dressed up where people took pictures not with you but of you. I totally looked like--well, no--you could tell I was Katniss. Like I wore boots, a leather jacket, and I had this ridiculous black wig I wrestled into Katniss submission. I even toted a kid's bow and arrow around! Yep, the whole thing was beautifully nerdy.
Oh god... that wig. 

Well, we had about three hours left to wait in line and let's be honest, waiting in line is not the funnest thing in the world to do (that's why as much as I love Disneyland I also hate it for a large percentage of the time I'm there), so my friends understandably wanted to leave to do other more exciting things like window shop, eat food, and charge their cellphones back at the car. And when I say my friends I mean all of them. They figured since I was the most enthusiastic one about the film that I should hold their place in line. Not gonna lie, I gave them the pathetic pouting lip look one gives to their parents at age two, but this didn't change their minds as I had hoped.

Me, Jamie, Keiana, and Natsuki.
"Fine," I whined and then dramatically pointed off to the right at a complete stranger saying, "you are going to be my new best friend!"
Woman: Oh, ok!
My friends laughed and made their way out of the theatre.

I turned to the woman with long blonde/silver-ish hair and said: Well, now that we're best friends, um, heh, what's your name?
Woman: Vickie! Your's?
Me: Amanda.
Then we shook hands and just started talking (about everything, I basically told her my life story) and it was awesome!

When my friends came back HOURS later (no I don't think it was that long, but they were gone a while), I made a new friend and this made them laugh. After Catching Fire, I immediately became friends with her on Facebook (making it official! haha), Vickie then invited me to her house for Thanksgiving (I was already going down to CA, but the offer was so sweet), we saw the midnight premiere of "The Fault in Our Stars", she and one of her twin daughters took me out to dinner for my birthday, and of course Mockingjay!
Me, Vickie, and Nicole celebrating my birthday. 
We joke and say she's my Godmother. I love her so much! Haha. She is such a kind soul who is incredibly supportive of me and since it's Thanksgiving I thought I'd share how thankful I am to have met her and to have her in my life to see movies with.

Moral of the story: Don't be shy, say hi, because you might just meet a Vickie.

Do you have a friend you met in a strange way?

Blog to you later!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Think You're Having a Bad Day? Things Could Be Worse.


Think you are having a bad day?

Things could be worse...

Blog to you later!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall 2014 Updates: Blogging and Neuroscience Conference in DC


I haven't written anything on here for a really long time, so I thought I'd take like 10 minutes (ha! more like an hour) out of my day to update y'all on my life.

I've been biking around the waterfront a lot too!

Well, I am currently sick. It was bound to happen sooner or later. All my friends were sick. I just want to sleep, so I should do that! I promise I'm going to bed immediately after I write this.

Last week I went the doctors for the first time in a little under a year and a half. I had a terrible, terrible experience with my old doctor the last time I saw her (the experience resulted in a full-blown panic attack, in which she handled super poorly), so from that moment on I wished to never see a doctor again.

My mom, however, pushed me to find a doctor I trusted. So, I did some research and found a naturopathic doctor I love. She is the coolest, most down to earth, awesome doctor I've ever met. In fact, she's more than a doctor, she's also a therapist, and teacher. She also told me how brave I was for seeing her after my experience. She told me that mustn't have been easy, which she was totally right about. The morning of my appointment. I had a panic attack. And here's the thing: I will drop everything I'm doing to help my friends, but I have the hardest time ASKING for help. So after talking to my mom (who helped me out quite a bit) I called one of my friends to see if she could come to the appointment with me. She did and I'm so glad she did because the whole thing went very smoothly. I'm so blessed to have such awesome friends who will do stuff like this for me.

If you are in a similar situation... ask for help! People are more than happy to do it and if they aren't, I think it's time to get some better friends. And if you are hesitating on something in your life (like for instance scheduling an appointment with the doctor), take a deep breath, and take that first step. I promise you it will BE OK. I'm constantly being reminded of this. With a little help from my friends and a deep breath I can get through anything.

This month, October, we are focusing on the theme of fears and overcoming fears. What is your fear? Write it down on a piece of paper, take a pic with it, & remember to add the hashtag #thebeokblog
We can get through our fears together!

So, yesterday was The Be Ok Blog's one month anniversary! I am so incredibly stoked about this. Being the Cofounder of this blog has seriously been one of the most rewarding experiences on my life. Delaney and I have been brainstorming like crazy the past couple of days and we have some great things planned for the next upcoming months.

I've also been taking a lot of risks with this blog like for instance sharing incredibly tough stories about my past in order to help others and not only sharing them, but sharing them via vlog format. So far I've recorded two videos. The first one was about my fear, which is the future. I plan to film more in the future, but at the moment I need to replace my laptop's hard-drive and will be receiving one of my brother's camera's soon, so I can like go outside and interview people too.

My laptop had to see the doctor...
The first video was pretty easy to make, the second one, however... eh, not so much. As the Cofounder of the blog it is easy to encourage others to share their stories of trials and tribulations, but it is not so easy when it comes to sharing my own story. Since the second week of October was Mental Health Awareness week I shared my own experience with panic attacks and seeking a therapist (my most vulnerable and painful experience to share). To tell you the truth, I honestly just wanted to type out this story and list it under a pseudonym (and there is no shame in that by the way for those who have already done that or plan to), however, as I embarked upon this project I wanted to be a face you could connect a tough story to; I wanted to be living proof that you can be a happy-go-lucky positive person even after a rough introduction into this world. Get the help you deserve. You will BE OK.

Happy One Month Anniversary! 
BE OK T-shirts: 
A lot of people have been asking me about purchasing a BE OK t-shirt lately. If you'd like one you can totally get one. And! Your purchase will go towards Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Now how awesome is that? It's $10 for a t-shirt, $15 for a v-neck, and $20 for anything that sparkles. There are a bunch of colors in each style that you can check out on The Be Ok Campaign's FB page or on Instagram @thebeokcampaign. Just email Lauren Taylor Hemmert at or you can just shoot her a FB message.

Neuroscience Conference in Washington DC
Yeah buddy! I'm going to DC this November. I'm pretty stoked to say the least. Haha! Now how did I get invited to such a thing? Well, remember how I taught incoming freshman Neuroscience over the summer at Madison High School? Well, that program I worked with NW Noggin is going to have a panel on what we did (they'll talk about how important it is to teach kids about the brain) and I guess I'm going to help present (I honestly didn't really know this until after I bought my ticket), kind of scary but whatever, new experience.
I really, really can't wait!

School is good. Studying my butt off as always. Love what I'm learning about the brain. It is seriously the most fascinating thing to learn about... EVER!
I'm also taking an Abs & Lower Body class, so I'm getting into really good shape as well. Like I am super impressed with how well my back is holding up. The stronger the core the stronger the back and that's what I want. I also learned that I really like to challenge myself and like feel the burn while listening to "Turn Down for What" which is a super motivating song when working out. Haha!

Had a great time with Keiana & Kerstin at Velo Cult Bike Shop where we listened to a talk given by grad student Megan Slaker from WSU Vancouver on her research on Memory, Drugs, & Perineuronal Nets. PNCA artist Dawn Nielsen also made an interactive Perineuronal Net art piece that the audience got to fill up with balloons. Velo Cult also donated $1/pint sold to the neuroscience/art outreach efforts in Portland & Vancouver. This was something I was involved with last summer and will be representing in Washington DC this November. Fun night socializing with friends and learning more about our fascinating brains!
Hooked on Case Study Coffee. Love the vibe there!

So, obviously due to... well, life. College. Everything. Novel #2 is slowly, but surely being written. I totally changed how I am going to tell the story and I'm loving the rewriting process. It's true, my outline is 95 pages long.

I just have to say that I freaking love Delaney! I love, love, love working on The Be Ok Blog with her and telling her about my dreams. We are actually quite similar and want the same things. It's funny because I met up with my advisor a few weeks ago in a panic. I was like I should go to grad school because that's what everyone is doing, but I don't know... like I don't really want to do that yet. I don't know what I want. And he was totally cool about it. I told him what I was up to as far as my writing (books and blogs and vlogging) and goals for life were and my advisor told me that it seemed like I was on a good track. He told me that I will figure out sooner or later if I need Grad School. It was such a good experience and I'm really glad I saw him. I don't often have pleasant experiences with advisors.

Here are my dreams:

  1. I want to be a professional blogger, YouTuber, travel writer, and author.  
  2. I really want to incorporate my passion for film, writing, and psychology into one. Like educating people about psychological issues via fun YouTube videos. 
  3. I want to give motivational talks at schools. 
  4. One day I'd also like to give a TedTalk.
And... yeah, that's a good list to start off with for now.

Alright, this sicko needs to rest. 
I have big dreams and lots of support for those dreams. Michael Phelps once said: "Never underestimate the power of those who believe in you."

Dream big, work hard, be humble.
It's going to BE OK.


P.S: Other stuff.

A film I worked on as a Production Assistant in 2012 is now at my local RedBox in Portland, Oregon! Check out the family film "My Dog the Champion."

On Oct. 21st I aw Mø & Holychild with Keiana at the Wonder Ballroom!

Went Geocaching for the first time last weekend! We found 2 things. One of them was in a tree. I'm hooked! Can't wait to go on more adventures!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dear Amanda From Five Years Ago


So, this month The Be Ok Blog is challenging everyone to respond to the following prompt: "What is fear to you and how do you go about overcoming or how did you overcome that fear?" My fear is the future. The future terrifies me. Like I wish my future-self could send me a video letting me know everything is going to be ok, but for obvious reasons that's not going to happen. I can, however, make a video to myself from five years ago because she was in a very dark and lonely place at the time. She really could have benefitted from The Be Ok Blog.

Actually, here are two videos from around five years ago just to show you how different I was. 


So, what about you?
What would you tell your 5-years-younger self about life? What advice would you give to him/her?

Blog to you later!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Summer 2014: Lightning Strikes & All


Since school FINALLY started for me this week I thought I'd list off all the awesome things I did this summer because it was both incredible as well as incredibly busy. Haha!

  1. Family Pictures in Utah.                                             

  2. One Republic Concert in Utah.                                           
  3. Slept over at Becky's She had a creepy balloon outside her window.        
  4. Visited Jamie at her hometown in Colfax, California. Hung out at Lake Tahoe and the Bear River. 
  6. Taught Neuroscience to incoming freshman this summer at Madison High School.        
      I really love brains!
  8. Made some awesome friends from Texas! Love these girls so freaking much!  
  9. Went out to dinner with my Godmother Vickie (I'll write a whole post on her soon!) and her daughter.                                                    
  10. Cleaned up the streets for fun with Takaho, Ryoma, and April and then it poured on us!             
  11. Went on a hike with Mariko!                     
  12. Hung out with Rashika at the Waterfront.        
  13. Went to a great 4th of July party.               
  14. Saw some suspiciously free doughnuts.    
  15. Went to the co: Rockaway.                      
  16. Went to the Famer's Market, both in Salem and Portland.  
  17. Took an epic pic of the cows behind my house.   
  18. Went to Kylie's Bridal Shower. 
  19. Almost got struck by lightning.                                                                                                           
  20. Went Swing Dancing (haha, can check that off my bucket list!) 
  21. Was on Good Morning America because of this video. George Freaking Stephanopoulos mentioned me on GMA!                            
  22. Went to Door of Hope. Really liked it there!    
  23. Ate at Salem's TABLE FIVE 08.              
  24. Saw the Book of Mormon Musical!          
  25. Went to Zach and McKenna's Wedding.         
  26. My twin baby cousins turned 1!                
  27. Worked at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp for 2 weeks.  
  28. Went to Kylie's Wedding.                                                                                             
  29. Went to San Francisco with Jamie, Brenna, and Bekah. 
  30. Went to my cousin Ashley's wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was a bridesmaid. 
  31. Volunteered at the Hood to Coast race. 
  32. Went to the Oregon State Fair.            
  33. Walked a lot at Minto-Brown Park.            
  34. Took lots of pics of the amazing sky!            
  35. Went to Multnomah Falls.                         
  36. Pet-sitted. 
  37. Went to Prague.                                                                                 
  38. Went to Budapest.       

Totally got lost without cell service, but I survived!                                                  
37. Stayed the night in Amsterdam.                     
38. Went hiking up to the Witch's Castle with Becky.          
39. Started a website.                                          

So, yeah, I've been busy this summer and I can't wait to be even more busy again. Love Fall! It's my favorite season.

Loving life!
What did you do this summer?