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New Year, New Site

Hello, all! Hope you have all stuck around whilst I’ve been taking some time away from posting every waking moment. If so, I truly appreciate you and your support for my content.

With that appreciation, I now ask for a huge favor in my next endeavor. I’ve hinted at it in the past, but only recently have I taken the plunge and have gone head-first into new territory.

Yes, I now have my own domain, a new self-running website, and new content to spring at you. I want to fully dedicate myself to the world of blogging, which means each post will involve more time and effort to hopefully better serve as a resource for my readers.

So what’s new with my site? alliemaelynn.com is still just me, the same ol’ person at the keyboard typing away about whatever I deem important and inspirational to discuss. I’ll still be discussing the same types of topics I already do, including mental health, spirituality, and sustainability. These are all still very important to me.

However, I really want to hone in on these topics into one overarching goal: to help others live a life prioritizing wellness. I’ve always considered the term “wellness” as one requiring a multi-faceted understanding of physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of ourselves.

By becoming more mindful and grounded in what makes us better selves, we can then translate that into wellness beyond ourselves. We are more aware of how our choices and actions affect others and the world around us. This is where my passions for sustainability, veganism, and advocacy come into play. We establish the foundation of wellness within ourselves, and then we can focus our intentions outward.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what else is new besides an actual domain name? Since I plan to take more time with each post I write to ensure they can be easily shared and helpful for you, I’m cutting back on how often I post each week. Let’s be honest, it was already crazy busting out 5 posts every week, but I still plan on sharing 3 different posts: one post for your own wellness, one for outward wellness, and one for me just to chat about whatever tickles my fancy. As always, you can find these posts shared across my social media platforms with a new emphasis on Pinterest.

These three posts each week will also include a new tidbit at the end of my long-form rambling, and that is a mindful meditation. In a few short sentences, I’m including a spiritually inclined devotion to provide a higher focus and purpose behind what I share, as well as start the day on a gracious, humble foot. A goal for myself this year is to become more open and involved in my faith rather than tiptoe around it in fear of offending others, but at the end of the day, this is my site, and if you’re here for my opinions and beliefs, then that’s a big part of it.

Besides all that jazz, I’m just going with the flow and seeing where this new step takes me. With greater flexibility and independence on my own website, I really have no clue what possibilities could come from this, but I’d really love to be able to make my blog a “side hustle,” as the kids call it, and put my heart and soul into my work. Not like I already did, but now I have a reason to be more focused and serious about what I do as an online creative.

Again, thank you all so much for being a part of this journey. I highly encourage you to join me on alliemaelynn.com and subscribe to my posts. Share my site and posts with others who might benefit from them, and please provide any feedback you have so I can make my site a resourcefor you to enjoy.

Change is scary, and so is going into an unknown where I could fall flat on my face, but I’m ready for the challenge.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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A Little Break

As the title implies today, I’m not exactly talking about anything super exciting or going in-depth into a topic as I usually do. You better not pout or cry, and you guessed it: I’ll tell you why.

Not just because Santa’s coming to town, although that’s a fairly decent reason. Beside the fact I have not taken much of any break from posting since…ever…on this blog, it’s probably appropriate I do something.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be a slug and do absolutely nothing. On the contrary, I have a lot to think about that I’ll be preparing and (hopefully) finishing up soon. This is especially pertinent to my thesis project which will (again, hopefully) become something I share with all of you. But that means I need to get my head in the game.

I’m also working on something especially exciting. It’ll be pretty obvious once I go public, although it’s probably available in some capacity before then. The big reveal will be in 2018, so be patient as I get my ducks in a row. As a teaser, just prepare for much more content to come.

Until then, I’ll still be online perusing and working, just more behind-the-scenes. That means if you want to interact, I should still be available to do so in a reasonable manner.

Since I won’t be around like I usually am, I want to express my gratitude for you all, every person who has supported me this year, every opportunity that has crossed my path, every kind word…it means the world to me that you have taken the time and energy to care about my random musings and opinions. It’s something I love to do, and I don’t know if I’d still be around if it weren’t for all the people reading and commenting. Every challenge, every moment of despair, it all becomes well worth it knowing I can touch others’ lives and help them.

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, have a VERY happy holiday season! Make sure to slow down, celebrate those who matter most, and let your greatest gift be your presence (get it? present?).

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

Seeing the Extremes

Regardless of where you live, chances are the weather has been anything but the norm.

Dangerous wildfires in California. Inches of snow in the Deep South. One extreme to the next. And who knows what might be coming.

Plenty of people are probably giddy that temperatures have been abnormal for this time of year, generally leaning toward the warmer side. Where I live, it’s just now getting to the expected 20-30 degrees each day. While it was nice to not be freezing as many days walking to class, in the back of my head, I’m antsy about feeling extra warmth because it comes back to a sole reason why it’s happening in the first place.

Climate change: the phrase we’re now throwing out into the forefront, something we should have done much earlier. We’ve known about this trend long enough, have seen the signs. Except how much are we listening and changing accordingly?

As I write this, the wildfires around Los Angeles catalyzed by the Santa Ana winds are starting to die down, but the damage left behind is devastating. Collectively, over 175,000 acres of land have turned to ash. That means thousands of structures destroyed and even more people evacuated. Even with as many firefighters available to help, it’s still not enough as they face conditions never seen before.

The snow raging through the Southeast and onto New England has led to record numbers not seen in decades. South Texas most notably saw snowfall last Thursday, an occurrence extremely unusual, especially since not too long ago we were talking about Hurricane Harvey and all the severe weather that left these same people at risk of displacement.

Prior to last year, we weren’t able to scientifically link climate change with any specific weather event. New research from the National Academy of Sciences suggests that’s no longer the case: scientists can now determine with some confidence the degree climate change influenced some extreme weather events.  Extreme heat and extreme cold are the easiest to attribute to climate change, followed by drought and extreme rainfall. The effect of climate change on weather events like tornadoes and wildfires can be especially difficult to assess because of the many variables that come into play, including factors beyond weather.

Since the earth has naturally cooled and warmed over its history, you might say this should be no different. But the climate change we’re experiencing and causing is at a rapid pace. This leads to extremes in air pressure which, in turn, leads to extremes in weather patterns typical of the last few years.

So what should we expect moving forward? Well, a lot more of this if we keep up the pace. The overarching weather pattern responsible for the contrasting extremes between the coasts is known as the North American Winter Dipole. It is fancy term to describe abnormally warm conditions in the West and cold conditions in the East. Under such a pattern, the jet stream, the super highway for storms that divides cold and warm air, surges north in the western half of the nation, and crashes south in the eastern half.

But the severe weather isn’t isolated in the States. From the polar icecaps melting, to 2010’s mass flooding in Pakistan, to heatwaves in Australia, to every other abnormal condition on any continent, when we continue to trap carbon dioxide, we’re trapping excess energy that has no means of release besides the global jet streams.

So how can we move forward from here? The answer is obvious, and it’s the same answer we’ve been hearing: cut carbon emissions. Globally, we need to meet the goals we’ve set and not be blinded by hopes of big money in harmful industries like coal and oil. We need to continue promoting reusable energy. Individuals need to focus on their daily routines to ensure they are avoiding excess waste.

At every scale, we need to take climate change seriously. It’s not something we can just put on the back burner and eventually get to. There are lives at risk. If not now, then soon. With the extremes we’re seeing, it’s harder to then predict and prepare for the worst, but this preparation is only alleviating the harms we’re causing rather than proactively addressing those causes.

Let’s take care of those in the line of natural disaster and extreme weather. But let’s also take care of the environment obviously angered by our actions.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie