And Everything Else (12/28/20)

Life updates you didn't ask for.

Four more days until the start of 2021, people! I tend not to make real New Year’s resolutions since it often feels like setting yourself up for failure, but I am thinking about what I want out of the year ahead. Obviously, there’s the safety and well-being of my loved ones and the world at large, but more personally, I want 2021 to be the year of saying “no” more.

As I talked a bit about last week, I tend to focus a lot on hitting arbitrary goals when it comes to my career, often taking on so much at once (HelloGiggles! Freelance writing! Teaching! Crosswords! Book writing! Etc.) that it has a negative impact on my health and happiness. As a Type-A person with ADHD and not a lot of patience, I frequently have to remind myself to slooooow down, but those reminders aren’t always effective.

Next year, though, I’m going to be firmer with myself on only saying “yes” to projects (assigned or self-given) that I’m actually passionate about, leaving more time in my schedule for things that aren’t connected to work or writing: going on walks and bike rides, doing jigsaw puzzles (I’m obsessed, I know), and just sitting with my own thoughts, as scary as that can feel. It’s hard for me to admit, but going at 100mph all the damn time isn’t healthy or necessary—in fact, there’s a lot of value in slowing things down and saying “no” every once in awhile.

So that’s my goal for 2021, but I’m not expecting myself to massively change overnight; growth is a process, and understanding that is a form of slowing down in of itself.

Here’s what else I’ve been thinking about recently, in this week’s edition of And Everything Else:

#1. I wrote about my acne—and it was scary AF

While I love sharing many parts of my life on social media, I get super insecure about my skin—so much so that I often edit pimples out of photos before posting them to Instagram. But after dealing with frustrating hormonal acne for most of my life, I’ve finally found products that work for me; my skin is currently clearer than it has been in years.

I wrote about the face wash I rely on, as well as my journey with acne, in a story for HelloGiggles you can read here! It was scary to write and to share photos, but if it helps other people who feel self-conscious about their skin, then it’s absolutely worth it.

#2. I’ve officially started the second draft of my novel

After finishing up the new outline for my book last week, I’ve begun the actual writing! I’m only about 1,400 words in, which isn’t much—there’s still about 70,000 to go, which is… overwhelming, to say the least. But I’m very excited to be back in the writing mindset and getting this much stronger, clearer draft off the ground.

For more progress updates, follow me on Instagram, as I post Stories after each writing session with my word count and some notes on the night!

#3. I’m diving deep into the world of wedding planning

I recently shared that Kurt and I booked our venue and set the date for our wedding (yay!), and now it’s time for… everything else. I just started researching photographers, and I’m hoping to have hotel blocks booked within the next month.

I’m a pretty organized person who loves planning events, so I’m not too freaked out by all the logistics, but I don’t doubt that things will get overwhelming, fast—so if you have any tips for wedding planning (what fees to avoid, what services to add on, etc.), please send them my way!


I hope everyone has a great New Year! With love from me and Ellie,

-Rachel