The First Fall

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

-L.M. Montgomery

With fall in full swing, find out how I'm reacting to my first real fall and what I've been doing to make the most of this season! | Macarons in the Morning

Fall has always been a little bit of a myth for me. In Houston, there’s summer and there’s the kind-of-cold-but-not-really season. Also, most of our trees are pines and oaks, so we don’t really see the leaves change color. I’d heard tales of the beautiful autumnal glow that the east coast takes on come late September, but no amount of stories and pictures could prepare me for it. You can probably imagine my incredulity when I woke up one morning at Dartmouth and found that the trees were turning into bright clusters of reds and yellows. They sparkled under the sun and the fallen leaves danced in the wind. Fall is a beautiful sight unlike any other.

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Less Than 30 Days

In Less Than 30 Days I'll Be Headed Off to College

Time seems to be both flying by and moving at a snail pace.

I start college in less than 30 days, and that thought brings on a whirlwind of emotions–fear, excitement, hope, apprehension.

I’m not a planner by nature. I prefer to live life a little bit more on a whim. But, there was so much build-up of excitement for college that I had already started picking my dorm’s color palette a week after my acceptance letter came in. I was focused on college all through Senior year. This summer, I spent most of my time watching college vlogs and drinking up every article I could about surviving freshman year.

Somehow, I still feel wildly unprepared.

Thoughts and questions run rampant in my mind, and this is where time seems to be doing all too much and nothing at all. On one hand, I just want to go to college already. “Less than 30 days” still feels way too long, especially when I spend my days overanalyzing and making up scenarios in my head. There’s so much unknown about what to expect in college. I can’t ever know the answers until I finally get there.

“Less than 30 days” also feels entirely too short. I don’t feel quite ready for this new journey. I think I was eager to do all my “growing” this summer before I stepped foot on campus so I didn’t have to experience those infamous freshman year blunders.

I wanted to arrive already socially adept, charming my way through the social scene and finally feeling like I belonged somewhere. I wanted to have a mind that was already developed so I didn’t have to struggle my way through classes. I worry all the time that my affinity for non-challenging and fluffy young-adult books have put me steps behind my peers academically. I wanted to throw away my whole closet. Irrationally, I believed if I didn’t have a wardrobe made up of J.Crew and Vineyard Vines, nobody would respect my place in the Ivy League.

In a moment of clarity, I realized that all the fear and unnecessary expectations I’ve put on myself this summer is bullshit.

I’m here for adventure, not for a perfect path. The blunders will come, but more importantly, the successes will come too. My mom keeps reminding me that my happiness is inside me. I don’t need the perfect condition or the perfect environment to find peace within myself.

Where I’m going may not meet all of my lofty expectations, and that’s okay. may not meet my own expectations, and that’s okay too. It’s how I handle these challenges that will really make or break my experience in college. I know that I’m in for the best 4 years of my life because it’s entirely up to me. I’m choosing not to worry anymore.

No, I’m not prepared for college because I can’t tell the future, but I am prepared to stop fearing the unknown and to face whatever is coming.

I can’t wait for the adventure I’m about to go on, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Less Than 30 Days


Blog Updates:

You might have noticed that I have a new look! I changed my theme to something a little more functional and a little more me. My color palette is now navy blue, pink, and grey, and I’m totally feeling the preppy vibe! I think it’s perfect considering I’ll be moving up to the East Coast, a.k.a Prep Central.

I have also decided to discontinue newsletters for a little while and see how I like it. Anything that I’d share within the newsletters will now be on Macarons in the Morning! Normally, I’d write a more personal post like this one in the email. But, I think it’s much better to create our little community openly and I look forward to talking to you guys more on here. If you want to keep up with my posts, I suggest following me on Bloglovin or Twitter, where I let you guys know as soon as I hit publish!

Thanks for all your support lovelies, I hope you like my new look!

“Purpose”: Stop Looking For It

You Don't Need A Purpose

YOU DON’T NEED A PURPOSE

I think we should stop being so obsessed with finding our purpose. I get that, as humans, we crave order and reliability. We love to ask questions like “why am I here?” and “what the hell am I supposed to be doing?” And we embark on this lifelong journey to achieve fulfillment by trying to find that one purpose in life. That trek is a road filled with existential crises and freak outs about our value and future.

There are a lot of resources out in the world dedicated to helping people find their purpose. They’ll tell you to fill out workbooks filled with vague questions about yourself or to just “listen to your  heart” and your whole life’s worth and direction shall be determined. Then you think you’ve got a defective heart or something because it seems pretty quiet in there.

Here’s why a life purpose might not be so apparent to you:

The average millennial has been brought up in an environment where having multiple skills, interests, and passions are highly encouraged. The chances that you’ll have just one passion that you can see yourself subscribing to for the rest of your life are slim to none. If you’re having trouble finding a purpose, it most likely means you’re good at a lot of things and should dedicate yourself to pursuing excellence in all of them.

Your reason for being on this earth isn’t a treasure to discover with an invisible map, nor is your purpose something that will appear to you one day in a ball of fairy dust.

We are putting way too much weight on the idea of having a purpose. To have one grand reason for living is some pretty narrow tunnel vision right there. We are capable of so much, and I think if there was any one, true purpose, it would be to seek out all of the things we’re great at. To force ourselves to subscribe to one life journey would be selling ourselves short.

Having one purpose doesn’t really allow for growth either. In the same way that the people you might have dated as a teenager are drastically different than the ones you’re attracted to as an adult, your motivation for living and your purpose will change as you grow up. We will have numerous “purposes” throughout life, and none of them are as predictable, noticeable, or life-altering as you think they might be. We don’t need to stress about centering our lives around one thing to make it worthy or important, that is definitely not the meaning of life.

While purposes are fleeting and fragile concepts, there should be constants in our life that we can always depend on. As new passions and dreams are constantly found, you can rely on your motivation and ambition to remain strong. Where one specific purpose might be lacking, drive should always be present. That way, you can make sure that in your pursuit of making your dreams come true, you’ll reach for the stars and make sure you grab them. Whatever grand schemes your net might catch, you will always be prepared to follow through with them.

Unless your heart suddenly grows a mouth and let’s you in on what you’re supposed to be doing, don’t let anybody or anything tell you why you are here. What makes life meaningful is how eagerly you attempt to actualize the dreams you come up with and how much fun you have doing it.

-Lots of Love, Lola

How to Create a Morning Routine for Productivity

How to Establish a Productive Morning Routine

Before I started my blog, I never had any semblance of a morning routine. I was easily distracted by things that were time-wasters like social media or even just lying in bed for more time than was needed. Since I’ve started Macarons in the Morning, I’ve seen a need to establish a more concrete routine to maximize my productivity and complete my goals faster. I found that I was more creative and motivated in the early hours, so I set up a morning routine rather than an afternoon or evening one. With my routine I have become a more balanced, centered, and productive person.

WHY YOU NEED A MORNING ROUTINE

  • A morning routine works with the natural tendencies of our bodies and minds. The mind loves structure and pattern. Our brains work best when they know what to expect. When we know what’s coming up, we can prepare appropriately, and make the most of the event. To contrast, when our next action is undetermined, we waste an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what to do, how to carry out the action, and only think about how we could’ve been more efficient after the fact. With a routine, we’ve totally skipped the middle man and can jump right into the efficiency and productivity part.
  • You’ve accomplished something before your day has even started. Don’t you just love crossing things off of a to-do list? A morning routine is like a daily to-do list full of things you actually enjoy doing and that you can cross off before it’s lunch time. Having a sense of accomplishment can help your mood and set a confident, grateful attitude for the rest of the day.
  • You live with purpose. A theme that’s gone viral this year is intentional living. Often coupled with a minimalistic lifestyle, living intentionally means applying purpose behind your actions. When you develop your personal morning routine, each part of the routine has a specific purpose. You will feel more accomplished and fulfilled when you’ve completed goals that have meaning behind them. Into-Mind has a great graphic of how you can have a more full life by living with intention and breaking down bigger and more abstract goals by establishing manageable daily habits.

MYTHS ABOUT ROUTINES

  • They’re too strict and don’t allow for spontaneity. Routines can be as broad or as down to the very second as you want them to be. For the more free-spirited mind, a more general morning routine with looser time slots (or no time slots at all!) might be better fitting. It’s all about completing the things you want in an orderly fashion, and making productivity a habit. Life will always bring its spontaneity. I promise, surprises will never be scarce.
  • They stifle creativity. While this is a highly debated topic, I’d definitely say that my morning routine has increased my creativity. Allotting a time to sit down and create something has been a lot like going to the gym everyday and working out. It’s gotten easier and easier to come up with cool stuff the more I train myself to work that creative muscle. And, of course, if I have ideas throughout the day, I won’t shut my brain off and say “ah ah ah, it’s not creativity time!” I simply jot down the ideas in my notes app or in my Moleskine and work on them when I have time.

How to Establish a Productive Morning Routine

HOW TO CREATE YOUR ROUTINE

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. A few things you should keep in mind when creating a routine:

  1. Have a goal in mind. It can be as abstract or as specific as you want. And you can have multiple. My main goals for the morning are to get as much creative work done for my blog as possible, enrich my body by working out or eating a good breakfast, and enrich my mind by allotting time to read a novel, journal, or catch up on the news.
  2. Keep your priorities straight. Every list of goals has a hierarchy. Prioritize the ones that are most important to you. They don’t necessarily have to come first, but you should spend the most effort and time on them. Blogging is a huge priority in my life and I spend hours on it. I start my blogging duties last because I often go well into the afternoon with it, but getting started in the morning assures that I will get something done.

Now, it’s time to ask yourself some questions. Once you have your goals set, you need to figure out which order they should go in, and where daily chores might fit best into your routine. Your routine should have a natural flow of events.

  1. What is the best time for me to wake up? Does this allow enough time to complete my routine?
  2. Does the first thing I do after I wake up center me and prepare me for the upcoming events of the day?
  3. Have I taken care of chores and daily necessities like eating breakfast and getting dressed that could later become distractions?
  4. Have I allotted time for reflection, self-enrichment, and goal planning? 
  5. Have I broken down the more abstract goals into achievable daily goals?
  6. How and when am I most productive? Am I completing the most important parts of my morning at that time?

The best way to start and stick to a routine is to do a little at a time. And don’t be afraid to mend it as time goes on. Your morning routine should be something that you enjoy and find useful. If it ever becomes a burden or you find that it doesn’t work with how you naturally function, make changes.

PRODUCTIVITY TIPS

  • Delayed Gratification: There is nothing that will make me work faster to finish a task than if I know a box of macarons or a Gilmore Girls marathon is waiting for me at the end of the finish line. Setting up a reward system, whether it be earning a 30 minute break or a yummy snack after a tedious task, can make you more productive because there’s an incentive involved.
  • Work with Yourself: At certain times of the day, I just can’t work up the energy to get a task done. And that’s totally fine. When it comes to creativity or putting out great content, I never want it to be forced or for it to become a chore that I don’t love. Learn how to work your mind. Identify the times you work best, and make the most of it, and don’t punish yourself for the times where you aren’t at your best.
  • A Cluttered Space is a Cluttered Mind: People underestimate the influence that the physical world has on their ability to work. If your work area is a total mess, your brain can easily become overwhelmed and distracted. Make sure your space is organized before you start your work. You’ll be a lot more focused when there isn’t all kinds of displaced items scattered around you.
  • Understand the Why: When working towards a very large goal, there are a lot of laborious steps in between that tire us out and can sometimes cause us to lose sight of the big picture. Once you’ve broken down your big goal into smaller goals, always remember to put purpose behind them. No matter how small, how annoying, or how tedious it can be, keep in mind the why and it will become much easier to complete the task.

Your routine can be adapted for nighttime as well, and I encourage you to develop one for whichever time of day you see fit.


So Tell Me: What’s your favorite part of your morning routine? Answer in the comments below!

-Lots of Love, Lola