Starting Small

I have begun selling jewelry to share my hobby with others. It was an arduous process, first creating unique designs, then waiting until the perfect moment in the day where the sun could accent my photographs. I propped my jewelry up against white satin and took four photos of each piece.

Now that I had the photographs, I had to list the jewelry and create titles for each one. My jewelry ranges from sleek, dainty earrings to pearl necklaces with crystal accents. I adjusted the price adequately for each listing, and my shop was up and running.

I created an Instagram account for my shop, @jewels.by.jocy, and now post not only the collection itself, but tips on styling and sneak peaks at new jewelry designs.

For a while I had no sales, though when I began to advertise online, I had received two orders. Now came the many ideas for packaging.

I invested in prettier packing supplies than the ones I had in my desk, and now my jewelry comes propped on custom cards, tucked neatly into a white lace bag with extra floral stickers, and packed away into a bubble mailer with pink crinkle cut paper. I seal it off with a golden sticker before driving it to the post office, ready to find its new home.

Shop my jewelry on Depop @jocyvgonz ❤

Handmade Golden Earrings ❤

My Turtle Koa

For Christmas my grandma gave me a turtle. Her name is Koa, and she came with a little bead bracelet and a card to track her movements in the wide ocean. I scanned her code, and my phone displayed a map of where she was released.

Her journey began on the coast of Florida as her rescuers released her into the wild. I could see she had already swam miles up the coast of the United States. She had passed Georgia territory and was nearing North Carolina.

Her little fins took her across half of the country, and halfway back. When I had previously thought about sea creatures, I had always imagined they’d stay in one area that they called home. My experience with Koa, however, has showed me that she is a true explorer of the ocean with no limits or boundaries.

I am grateful to have a connection to a living part of the ocean that I can check in on each day.

Image Credit: Shane Meyers

A New Year

2020 has come to an end and with that, we start a new year, but many of us end the new year with unrealistic resolutions for the upcoming three hundred sixty-five days of our lives. Many create these resolutions of bettering our self-image or collecting wealth, but they rarely ever have to do with internal and external happiness or satisfaction. We live in a materialistic world, where we so often forget the real importance of life.

In this upcoming year, I want to look for happiness, rather than setting an unachievable or unrealistic resolution. I want to set a goal of looking for things of beauty every day, finding my own self-worth, living out every day to the fullest, surrounding my life with good, positive people and things, because, most importantly, being content with yourself as you are will make life more enjoyable.

I do not only want to go into 2021 with this mindset, but every year following this one. To continue the search for happiness and self love, finding the beauty in little things, living life to the fullest, and finding the people that help fill those goals, because in the end you are in charge of how you live your own life.

Photo credit: pinterest.com

Fire

I

The leaves rustle gently at first,

barely moving in the otherwise stagnant air.

But the wind comes, and will come again. 

Every year.

II

It’s eerily warm when

the hearty Santa Ana winds,

the december gusts, come 

to breathe full of life

limbs of dry straw.

Shrubbery sings with that transient weight;

shrubbery that won’t be here tomorrow.

III

Before the door could be closed

a delicate leaf let itself in.

Frail, yellow, brittle.

Winter boots shatter it; 

the shards driven into

the green carpet.

IV

Autumn came when no one was looking, quiet and still, 

but Winter knocked on the door.

Warm winds; loose leaves;

oak and sycamore;

helpless faces;

unpacked clothes strewn, full of life,

on the floor.

V

Fires often blow through on winds like these,

—the threat, toothsome and tangible—

but even as the wind whips

and the sparse clouds hurry across the sky,

cruel circumstance sits suspended in hot heavy air.

VI

Heavy walls went like cardboard 

big weight bearing beams became matchsticks

that snap between fat flaming fingers

recollection ripped out of picture frames

folders full of ash

crumpled filing cabinets

and melted metal memories 

a world engulfed

in wind

in the night

in warm welling eyes

in the sweltering night.

VII

Gnawing on the bones

baying at the hunt

howling in the wind

a hound of three heads sicced 

uncontrollable 

delighting in the chaos 

in pandemonium’s wild embrace.

VIII

silence settled,

the land rested.

no fireman’s boots,

no tennis shoes,

no cars,

no buildings,

no birds.

Just cold black earth,

warm embers,

warm breeze.

IX

Green growth sparsely populates the scorched earth.

Grasses, gaining ground.

But deep in the center the blackness still sits.

Telling you things are not as they once were,

Succession is a process, aching and raw;

but nothing could be so delicate and pure

as the inkling of new life

among black expanse.

X

These winds will whip 

hearts to attention

for years to come.

From: KPCC

Friends

photo credit: @FriendsTV on twitter

Friendship is the feeling between two or more people who care about each other. There are many types of friends, like mutual friends, people you know through other friends, casual people that you hang out with now and again, and best friends: the people you would do anything for.

Some friendships are not physical ones, for instance, an ibf (internet best friend). These are friends that you met online that you have an instant connection with. You call them and talk about all your problems, but they are not there in person. Sometimes these are the best kinds of friends.

Most times best friends think each other are jerks to begin with. They think poorly of each other, but that soon changes. They start hanging out with each other more and become best friends. They laugh with you and make fun of you in a loving way.

Overall, friends are the best and you should keep them around.

The Perfect Tree

This year I learned that there are two types of Christmas trees: a noble and a douglas.

I was standing in the parking lot of Lowe’s, searching the fenced in barn for this year’s tree. To my left, there were the douglasses. I knew that any one of them would look great in my living room. They had the classic Christmas tree feel, and I felt satisfied with the quality.

Then, I looked to my right. Propped along the wooden fences were the plush, green noble trees. And they were, indeed, noble. The trees looked as though they came straight out of a holiday hallmark movie. The branches looked as though they grew to meet cold winter snow, and I could not picture any kind of tree that represented the holiday better.

I again turned to my left. The douglass trees then looked drab. Dying, even. The only thing that made them more appealing than the tall nobles was the pricetag. I sorted through each of them, however, and found one that would suit my living room. I admired it and it’s imperfections seemed to disappear. But I again turned towards the nobles.

The contrast in beauty was striking. The tree I had found did not seem as beautiful anymore.

We went home with a noble.

Image Credit: Nathaniel Young

A year like no other—2020 in review

in shuttering silence

happiness is fleeting

buoyancy is turbulent 

and the grey world deteriorates

breath is belabored

and the periphery begins to seep in

the color is fading fast 

fast

faster still than hot flames

the fury and the fire in the center

burns has burned and will burn

hot

hotter than before

but still it burns through its fuel

and the sides still fall away than the center can build back

better to be honest 

better to be free

better to seek the middle even as the edges fray

better to worry about the now than lose hope in the future

as the color fades into gray

Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

The notebook

I recently watched the notebook with my friend, we will call him John for now. So my friend John practically begged me to watch the notebook, and I agreed and give him the normal run down. I warned him that he will absolutely cry. So we get to the part in the movie where Noah and Allie are LITERALLY in the rain in the boat. She’s about to find out he wrote her 365 letters and that he still loves her. I’m sitting there stuffing my face with popcorn, and I start to hear the sound of logs being sawed. John is snoring. He has the audacity to fall asleep. So I do the thing any dedicated notebook fan would do and I pushed him off of the couch. The movie continues and we are at the end where they die together and I am crying, ugly crying. And I look over and John is asleep AGAIN! I asked him how he liked the movie the next day and he said that it was “alright”. And that is the story about how I stopped being friends with John.

Image found on Pinterest


A white Christmas

Finally. After 4 months of not seeing my family, I will soon be home again. In one week I will be on a plane on my way back to Germany and I can’t even put in words how excited I am. I came to the boarding school in the U.S when I was 15. Now, this is my third year going here but every year I don’t see my family for 4 months at a time. I always fly home over Christmas break and the first feeling of stepping out of the airport in Germany is so refreshing. The cold air, the snow, and there they are. My mother, my brother, and our dog. Every year, it is the greatest feeling there is. We drive home and I see our house shining bright with Christmas lights. I open the door and I am greeted by a huge Christmas tree in the living room.

The feeling of finally being home is not comparable to anything else. I step into our garden and play in the snow with our dog. We run around and I go to the lake to see if it has frozen yet. We live close to beautiful mountains, so everyday I walk up with our dog and just sit and watch the beautiful view while it starts snowing. The next day I meet up with my best friend and we go to the famous German Christmas markets in our city. Hot chocolate, waffles, crepe, everything you could imagine for Christmas is right there. All the little shop huts are decorated with lights and snow on top of them. Christmas in Germany is incredibly special to me, and not comparable to anything else.

A beautiful Christmas market in Germany

https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/top-8-german-christmas-markets/

For Africa

In about three weeks, I will finally return back to my second home: the Masai Mara in Kenya, Africa. This will be my fourth time visiting the Mara and I am more than excited. While I am there, I will work on a big project for school; working with different wildlife conservation organizations as well as Park rangers that wander the park every day in search of poaching traps. The work these rangers do is incredible. They dedicate their whole life to the park and the animals that live there. I and so many other people are incredibly thankful for the work they do. Without them, the parks wouldn’t work the way they do.

But also, tourism is a very big part that makes these parks work. Many people are not happy with tourism in these wild parks and think that tourism should be completely banned. I do agree that sometimes tourism in the parks can be overwhelming, but it is such an incredibly big and necessary part of Africa. Without tourism, rangers would not be able to save the animals from poaching because the park would have no money to pay the rangers anymore. So many people would lose their jobs, and the animals would lose the protection they have from poachers. Tourism is a big and vital part of these parks.

When COVID hit, and traveling was shut down, these parks suffered immensely. The poaching numbers rose into the sky and many lost their jobs. A lot of photographers as well as myself donated money to an organization called “prints for wildlife”. This organization collected prints from hundreds of different small and well-known photographers in order to raise money to send to these parks. They were able to raise $660,200 in just one month. It was absolutely incredible to see so many photographers work together to save what they love most.

pictures by: https://www.printsforwildlife.org