I Gave Up on BuzzFeed

I’m not exactly sure the exact moment. Maybe one random afternoon browsing blogs or perhaps after searching for methods of distraction…all definitely sometime while I was in college & procrastinating. 

But then, it happened. I, Kelsy Leah Black, met BuzzFeed.


Needless to say, I was changed forever (as well as my friend group, who slowly but surely got hooked too). The insatiability of the content stream, funny lists, viral information, breaking news…it never stopped and I never wanted it to. (And yes, maybe I actually applied to a job or two there & perhaps even had an interview too but…different blog post.) 

Maybe it’s just me, but…isn’t the constant stream of information getting a little exhausting? Looking at it from a critical Communication Studies standpoint, BuzzFeed is endemic of the gluttonous appetite our society holds for EVERYTHING. (Not that an appetite for life & understanding more about culture, etc is a bad thing in moderation; there’s a huge difference in a healthy curiosity and mindless consumption [and I am a part of the latter].) Sometimes, such as the case with BuzzFeed, the problem becomes the old “quality vs. quality” debate. Surely the quality must decrease if a site posts 8234 new bouts of content a day (thus we have posts like “34 types of cat smiles” and “How to Know If You Grew Up in Dunwoody, GA in the 2000’s.” Mindless, vapid entertainment–but harmless right? 

I’m not so sure anymore. 

The constant source of new, fun information & trivia so easily becomes an addiction–and to what? Nothing that really matters. I don’t want to look back (especially during this horrible 12 weeks of having a broken foot ordeal) and wonder what in the world I did with all that time. Surfing Buzzfeed (/Reddit, Gawker, the list of insatiable websites goes on forever)? 

I want my life to be a bit simpler, richer, and purer–in which I mean I’m tired of “learning” through the Internet. I’m tired of wasting time on things that are entertaining, but invaluable. Being present in real life, especially going into this Advent season. 

Maybe I’m just writing this for myself (as with so many of my blogposts), but I want this December to be a little sweeter than usual–full of little joys, gratitude, and the quiet, expectant hope that comes with this season. Maybe by dispelling the cacophonous, unnecessary Buzzfeed lists, Twitter feuds, and other time-wasters, we (I?) will experience true contentment. (After all, there are tons of books to read!) 

Over-thinking Adulthood

I think one of the biggest hurdles I need to overcome in this whole “You’re now a person with a college degree & no set future plans” state (sometimes also referred to as adulthood) is the crippling fear of making one mistake that ruins everything. So often, well meaning articles online or former professors have told me that the next few years determine the rest of your life (or something). 

That. Is. Terrifying. 

I always interpret that to mean something like “If you don’t make exactly the right decision(s) while 22-25, have fun being stuck as a washed up nobody for the rest of your life.” I’ve always been hyper-aware/fearful of the possibility of settling, but I’ve so fervently tried to fight against it–despite never truly understanding my actions. In my battle to live without regrets, I live a half-life, too full of my overactive mind and burdened by the pressure of being essentially perfect.

But in a rambling sort of way, today I want to kill that lie. 

The choices I make today are important, but just as important as the ones I made at 17 or will make at 43. Life is too full of grace & second chances to ever be just one linear path. And I don’t think I believe in that anyways–God has everything planned out, but I really doubt it’s a straight line. I think life’s a lot more rambling and messy. Or maybe life’s more like Russian nesting dolls–the experiences and stories you live now add more depth to your life, building more on who you were made to be. 

The pressure of putting the fate of entire life on my 22 year old shoulders is a little too much to bear. I mean, the Sistine Chapel wasn’t built in a day. The story of my life cannot be figured out (or written) in one sitting (no matter how much I try to solve the puzzle.) 

Running on Empty


If there’s a Driving Hall of Fame, I would definitely NOT be in it. Bad luck driving seems to follow me closer than a driver with road rage on two lane highway. One of the earliest pieces of driving advice I ever received was from my mom who fervently told me to NEVER drive with less than a quarter tank of gas. Do I listen? Nope. I’m the kind of driver who knows exactly how many miles  on E I have before my car shuts down completely–and I square out my mileage to help too. It’s irresponsible, I know this.

For the past month or so, that’s kind of encompassed ALL areas of my life. I’m running on E in a lot of areas. For example, with this blog & writing in general,  all of my words have completely dried up. Life has been good & full of little fun moments, but more often feels a bit like an awkward coffee date with someone when there’s more long pauses than actual conversation.

I know seasons like this are normal and “okay.” But I feel rather aimless and precariously close to running out of energy all together.

Thanks for being patient with me.


An Autumn Promise

Psalm 84:5-7

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
    who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
    it will become a place of refreshing springs.
    The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
    and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

God led me to this passage a few nights ago and I was struck by the perfect timing. I’m not sure where my Jerusalem is, but I know that I’m in a season of pilgrimage towards it. (Anddd it’s autumn, so holla at you, verse 6!)

May these verses be just as encouraging to you as they have been for me, especially fellow pilgrims. God will use the things you’ve dealt with in your own personal “Valley of Weeping” and turn it into a place of blessing, hope, and refreshment.  I’m ready for all that.

Making unemployment…FUNEMPLOYMENT (and other lies I tell myself)

I’m back from my self-inflicted writer’s block hiatus! One thing I realized during is that I don’t really talk too much about IRL personal stuff on my blog. Generally, I’m a pretty private person, which oddly enough, surprises a lot of people (somehow I have this weird reputation for talking a lot? Nooooo idea where that came from).

But you know when you reach a point when you’re just like “Screw it, I have zero inhibitions anymore?” Yeah. Hi. I’m there.

Postgrad life has been ROUGH the past four months. To everyone still in college reading this, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: It’s hard for everyone I know, even the ones who have found a job by now. It’s been increasingly humbling, as I went from being a big deal* at a small school (*perceived, at least) to being a small nobody in a big city.  Although this is technically a “gap year,” I’m really not sure about anything beyond the end of the week. I know I want to go to grad school, but I’m trusting God to show me the direction to take (law, economics, strategic communications). I know I’ll eventually go somewhere because I don’t think I’d be satisfied with just a BA. My parents are moving out of state in December, to a place I don’t feel is right for me. So, I’m staying here (I think) and praying & trusting God to provide a full-time job for me here…or wherever else…until I figure out grad school.

This season is THE definition of wilderness for me. But I know God’s got me. “Though I have fallen, I will stand up; though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.” (Micah 7:8)

So anyways, I was watching  the documentary “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” yesterday and actually felt really inspired. (Encouragement always comes from the unlikeliest of places!)  (Backstory: in 2009, Conan replaced Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, was dismally screwed over in contract, and ultimately forced to leave and not appear on TV or the internet for 6 months (which, if your job is as a TV entertainer, that’s a bit difficult). Conan’s a really intelligent, driven perfectionist & instead makes those 6 months into a 45 city comedy tour.) 

Strangely enough, watching Conan keep going through his “wilderness” time was really inspiring. When you love something and possess that talent, no matter what happens along the way, YOU DON’T STOP.  Don’t stop learning, don’t stop writing, don’t stop creating. When there’s opposition, you know you’re in the right place & doing the right thing.

This is all advice I’m giving to myself at the same time, so you don’t have to take it, but if you’re in a wilderness time too, a period of life where everything feels so dark and unknown that all you want to do is marathon episodes of British TV shows, DON’T STOP MOVING FORWARD. Don’t let the feelings of stagnation choke you into mediocrity. You have a gift. You have talent. You have purpose. Don’t let this dark time define you.

-Learn a new language!

-Watch awesome TED talks or interesting documentaries!

-Develop a new skill (like for me: coding or photoshop skills)

Travel on a budget!

-Read more!

-Listen to insightful podcasts!

-Get a fun part-time job!

-Join a volunteer organization (like End Slavery TN/wherever state)

-Get involved with your church/find a church!

-Train for a cool physical activity (I’m training for a half-marathon!)

-Start your own blog!

Most of all, keep going! We’re in this together.

Kelsy, Who Lives At Home

The summer after I graduated high school, my loving sister Katie decided to look up statistics about the probability of people moving back home after college & loudly declared one day at dinner that after I left for college, I’d never come back home ever again. Not to visit, not to live…I was basically gone forever apparently. This made my whole family quite upset (as the oldest of four, so naturally, my presence is as vital as oxygen to our family unit ;) ) and 2009 me tried to graciously reassure them that I’m sure I’ll at least visit once in a blue moon.

My family circa 2009: You can interpret my look as "I'm graduating and moving to NYXC< snitches!"

My family circa 2009: You can interpret my look as “I’m graduating college and moving straight to NYC, y’all!”

Fast forward four years of college and here I am, living at home. (They just can’t get rid of me that fast!) Apparently, I’m not the only one: according to a recent Pew research poll, 21.6 MILLION people ages 18-31 live with their parents right now.  Just look at us:

I <3 research

I <3 research.

Living at home is really the most financially sound option at the moment and it’s honestly not THAT bad for now…especially with this cool new trick I learned:

So, you know in romantic comedies when the heroine is getting on an airplane, sees a handsome guy by an empty seat, and prays to God that empty chair belongs to her? Well, that actually happened IN REAL LIFE to me this past June–I sat by this heartstoppingly good looking, personable, and well-traveled guy in the military and we talked during the entire plane ride about literally everything. (I never did get his name (kind of on purpose so that I could say that line wistfully)).

Usually I end up sitting by couples who makeout on the plane. Not lying.

Usually I end up sitting by couples who argue during the entire flight.

At one crucial moment in conversation, Beautiful Mystery Man asked me if I live with any roommates back in Nashville. –Spoiler alert: I live at home with my entire family of 6–When I told him this, he ever so graciously told me to tell others I just have 5 roommates.

…I mean, that’s basically true? I DO have 5 roommates… but only 2 of them pay rent/utilities (which would be a pretty cool, yet ultimately unfair real life housing situation) and force the rest of us to do manual labor and chores/ threaten to make us live outside if we don’t go to the gym everyday…

Beautiful Mystery Man taught me a valuable lesson: everything’s all about perspective! You could make your situation in life sound lame or…you could jazz it up (even jokingly, as I do with the 5 roommates line.)

If you’re reading this post and suddenly realized “Oh my gosh,  so that’s why I’m sitting in my bedroom of my parents’ house  the past few months. I have been living at home!!,” no. No, you don’t. You live with X amount of roommates. Duh.

Rejection Theory (or how to make job hunting less horrible)

rejectionmediumMy least favorite state is Rejection. (Or Arkansas. That’s a pretty boring state to drive though.)

For the majority of my life, this hypersensitivity to rejection has practically crippled me–keeping me from fully participating in life, to say the least. I was so afraid of not being good enough or being someone’s last pick, that I even got a tattoo about it!

I worked SO hard during college to not give anyone any reason to toss me to the side. I tried to always have perfect outfits, look cute all the time, be the favorite employee, work the hardest, be the best in class, be the most liked (–well, to be honest, I never tried to be the nicest person. I definitely fell short on that–sorry everyone who I accidentally made cry. ) It was exhausting and lonely, but I didn’t really notice. I was too busy.

Oh how the tables have changed.

During the past four months I’ve been home, God has really been doing a number on me with this whole “crippling fear of rejection” thing. I’ve been rejected from SO many awesome jobs, a friend who was my very best friend earlier this year, and a few other painful experiences. I felt like a total loser in the beginning, as if my worth was just in what I did.

 I’m no longer afraid. I’ve realized that in life, there’s a finite level of rejection a person has to encounter. Each rejection is just one less the grand sum!

Today I interviewed at a company I would absolutely love to work for. Will I get the job? I have no idea. BUT I do know that if this is a “no,” I’m just one step closer to my “yes!” God bless the broken road that leads me straight to… this job!

I’m glad this has been a summer of rejection. I needed it. If I would’ve gotten a job right away, I wouldn’t have begun to conquer this fear, nor would I have experienced a deeper level of trust in God and His faithfulness.

He is for me–God’s on my team! Rejection is just a change of direction when the Lord’s the one guiding your path.  If you’re going through the same thing, remember that this “no” isn’t the end.

Isaiah 41:9, “I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, “You are my servant.” For I have chosen you and will not throw you away!”