Since my initial post about George Floyd's death and how I was feeling about everything last Monday, I've spent some real time engaging in difficult conversations with my family. Nate and I have also had some discussions that we've never had before in all the years we've known each other, and it became abundantly clear - we grew up in a bubble, and we have absolutely no idea what it's like to live in this country as a black person. The area we live in is finally becoming more diverse, we are surrounded by people who don't look like us in our neighborhood, but just a few short years ago that wasn't the case. When we went to elementary, middle, and high school, that was not the case. It wasn't until I got into college that I finally began seeing what diversity looks like, and it definitely opened me up to new friends, teachers, and colleagues. Then when I started counseling youth with "behavior problems" and especially kids in foster care, I began to see the inequities in our systems and it made me so angry. They were disproportionately BIPOC and LGBTQIA. I had some incredibly heartbreaking conversations with kids about the things they had experienced in their formative years, the violence they saw so close to home, their longing for a parent who was incarcerated or killed, cycles of addiction and poverty, abuse at the hands of adults, and their desire to break free and live a happy life. After six years of enjoying and learning from my role, the reality of the system began to wear on me emotionally and I left my job. I didn't know how to be of service to others when I was struggling to take care of my own mental health. There are days when I wish I hadn't left, feelings of guilt for not doing more. But regret does nothing to advance the causes I believe in. Contributing can start or re-start anytime. It's never too late. Why not now?

People often ask me what I did at the organization I worked for, and although I always tried my best to explain it (behavior specialist doesn't quite cut it) the main thing I tell people is that I listened. I worked with kids of all ages, allowed them to say whatever they needed to tell me, encouraged and supported them with their plans of care, visited their schools, talked with their teachers and therapists, provided them with resources...but listening was always my focus.

I'm still listening. I have so much learning to do, and instead of feeling shame in that, I'm actually excited to have the opportunity and the privilege to learn from others. I'm grateful that my mind is fully open, as I wish others would be opened as well. I've donated, signed petitions, have unfollowed people that aren't part of a solution, and am committing myself to doing more research before giving my money to companies and brands. But I know that the real work is within myself and my local community. That's where I can have the biggest impact. This year has been hard on all of us, but it's also been the big push that we needed in order to really change and grow. When I have moments of doubt, I try to quickly snap out of that mindset and focus on the gratitude that I am here with breath in my lungs and a beating heart. There's always room for more love, growth and understanding.

Part of having a little space on the internet is being able to share with you, and I want to do just that. Here are some creators, bloggers, and writers I want to spotlight for their amazing talents, experiences, and voices.

Tia Meredith is a powerful force. She is a writer, book coach, and all-around amazing woman. I briefly met her at an event in San Diego, and she is someone that any of us can learn a lot from. Her instagram is one you should follow. 

Rachelle is not only one of my favorite bloggers, she is also a friend. I'm learning so much from her. I've linked to her blog many times over the years, so I'm sure many of you know her, but if not then you need to! Also check out her fashion inspo account on Instagram.

Natasha is another blogger that I've followed over the years. She is such a genuine person and her positive energy and kindness always lights up my feed on Instagram.

Krystal Festerly is an artist and writer. She makes beautiful jewelry, trays, and coasters from hand pressed flowers. Her vibrance comes through in everything she creates.

Funmi Monet is a beauty enthusiast who has introduced me to some gorgeous products and brands. Her content is enviable, fun, and uplifting.

I hope you'll follow each of these ladies! Please share any of your recommendations below, especially if you know of more writers.

I will be back next week (I think). I'm not sure where my blog fits in anymore, but hopefully I can figure that out soon. I still enjoy documenting parts of my life and connecting with you. But sometimes, I feel like a dinosaur in this space and have had thoughts of moving on for longer than I care to admit. Anyway, thank you all so much for reading.


  1. thank you for using your voice Noelle, I always love reading you so I would be so sad if you stopped blogging but you know I would understand :)

  2. Thank you for posting in such an honest way. I think many of us are taking this time to read more and listen more. At least something positive is coming from a horrible tragedy.

    I hope you continue to blog whenever you can! I love your posts.

    1. Unfortunately it's all too common ;( I hope there is actual sustainable change this time.
      Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by! It means a lot <3

  3. Love your heart, friend and appreciate you sharing my blog. Whether you continue to blog or not (although, I will greatly miss your posts), hoping we can still stay connected. xo, tasha

    1. Awww thank you Natasha, I love your heart too! Of course we will stay connected either way. I think I'm going to continue to post, I thought about it a lot over the weekend and I don't want to give this up entirely just yet.

  4. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ladies! It is hard to know exactly what to do and what actions to take in this time to affect real change, but it sounds to me like you are doing all the right things with real heart. Being in a profession like you were can be very emotionally draining.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style


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