Explore Us: Episode 01 feat. Aaliyah @ Growing In His Image - The Art Of Living


Y’ALL. It’s week one of the Explore U.S./Explore Us series!! I’m most likely bouncing off the walls as you read this (ooh real time moment.) To kick off this TRULY EXCITING blog series, my dear friend Aaliyah is taking the reins for episode one! EVERYONE GIVE HER WAFFLES AND A HUGE WELCOME. Because she is one of the most inspiring, wise, and kind people I know (aka: amazing the end.) Thank you again, Aaliyah, for being a part of this!



01. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY EXPLORING?

I am currently exploring the art of living. Not just existing, but living. Because life is a beautiful occasion. My goal and passion is to live every single day to the full, invest in my hobbies and find joy in simplicity.


02. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING EVERY DAY TO THE FULLEST?

I love how by making my goal to notice the small, lovely details in life, I notice them more. The joy I've found by simply turning my head to heaven to admire the constellations or my two-year-old sister's laugh is amazing. And another goal was to invest in my hobbies. I have found by doing this consistently, I have shown improvement a lot quicker than normal!


03. WHO OR WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START EXPLORING THIS?

I wanted to break the barriers of a stereotypical teen. I don't want to be known as the teen who spent too much time on her phone and didn't really do much at all with her young life. Us as teens have almost no "adult" responsibilities. Take advantage of it! If you have ever even thought about pursuing a hobby, do it. If nothing ever comes of it, then that's fine. But you never know what it may lead to. Make the most of your youth! And I've always had a passion for living a well-lived life so it's natural for me!



04. DO YOU EVER FALL SHORT OF LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST? HOW DO YOU GET BACK ON TRACK?

Haha, wayyyy too much. You would think as a very ardent advocate I wouldn't but uh....NOPE! Artist's block is strong with this one. If I get out of routine or lose inspiration for one thing, it's just a domino effect. It's bad. It really is. One of the ways I get back on track is my lovely blog friends who use the hashtag I created (GrowingIn His Image: #GROWINGTOLIVE | A MOVEMENT). It inspires me to see what they are creating and what makes their hearts sing. Or if it's something artsy, lovely YouTube always has my back ;) Watching tutorials really gets me in the mood!


05. WHAT IS THE 'EXPECTATION VS REALITY' OF THE ART OF LIVING?

Haha, I love this question. Expectation vs reality is basically my life because somehow nothing ever turns out how I want it too. My expectation is to do something creative every single day and always have an amazing attitude and journal outside or something. The reality, most of the time, is the exact opposite of what I just said. ;) Well, sometimes. THIS IS NOT AN EASY PASSION TO HAVE, OKAY?!?!??!


06. NAME THREE PEOPLE/THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU TO KEEP EXPLORING THIS:

Wow. This is a hard one. So many things and people inspire me!
My biggest inspiration would have to be my Heavenly Father. Let's face it, He is the real MVP. His art inspires me. His love inspires me. His love for life inspires me.
Poets. Not anyone specific. I love how poets capture life with their words and make life feel so much more vivid.
Music. I could write an entire post that is way too long about the way music makes me feel and it still wouldn't be enough. Music inspires me. I can't describe it, really... The sounds, the lyrics, everything gives liffee tooooo myyy bonnneessss. Yeah, I can't explain it.


07. WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN EXPLORING THE ART OF LIVING?

Hmmm… I would say that every day will be different. You're not always going to want to find joy in the ordinary. You're going to have inspiration block. And guess what? That's normal and that's okay. Sometimes waiting it out is the only thing that will fix it and that's okay too. But I promise you that it will be worth it. There's so many colors between black and white. Find them. Explore them. Love them all. Life is a beautiful occasion. So live it.





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don't leave this blog until you show aaliyah some love in the comments, people!!

see you on saturday,
abbiee

69 comments

  1. EEK AALIYAH!! I loved this post!!! I'm always wanting to LIVE more, with expectations a lot like yours, but the reality part...not so much. XD WE CAN DO THIS!!!

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    1. GRACE ANNE GRACE ANNE GRACE ANNE! I LOVE YOU! Thank you seriously SO much. Your comment means a lot :)) WE CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!!!

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    2. asdfghjklkjhgfd ISN'T SHE BRILLIANT?? <3

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  2. I love this!! What a great goal, Aaliyah!

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    1. Thank you so much, Emily! I really appreciate your comment!

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    2. Aaliyah in and of herself is a great goal tbh

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  3. YAY Aaliyah!!! You did so good!!!!! I loved this post!!! :D

    http://thecountrygurl.blogspot.com

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    1. WAH KILEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH! <3

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  4. ALL OF IT. Right on, girl. XD

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  5. Aalihay, you inspire me so much! Thank you for sharing your story. I totally agree with you about living rather than just existing. It's often difficult because I find that sometimes existing is so much easier even though it's not enjoyable. I needed this reminder today. It's so good to hear that there are other people who are LIVING life to the fullest, inspiring others, and showing us that it's not impossible.
    <3 Lizzy

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you sooo much! Between this comment and the comment on my blog I feel so blessed :))) Yes, I agree! Existing is so much easier. But like you said, it's definitely not enjoyable. Wouldn't it be awful to get to the end of your life and find that you didn't enjoy life and now you can't do anything about it?? >>BIGGEST FEAR RIGHT THERE.

      Thank you again!

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    2. SHE IS SO INSPIRING IT'S CRAY CRAY. <3

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  6. Beautiful. So very beautiful. Agh, this series is going to be fantastic. Amazing kickstart, Aaliyah! <3

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    1. EEEPPEPEPEPEPE THANK YOU, HANNAH!!! I agree, I cannot wait to see everyone else's posts!! I am so excited!!

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    2. ASDFGHJK THANK YOU HANNAH JOY. And yes, omg, Aaliyah is a supernova. ;)

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  7. "and journal outside or something"--my expectation for every day, but I never do it. It always seems like such a cute, artistic sort of thing to do, and I always picture myself doing it...but it never happens. Not quite sure why.

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    1. Right, though?!?! I just feel like it's the perfect, dreamy, movie-like thing to do, haha! Thank you for commenting!!

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    2. I WANT TO DO THIS MORE TOO. (heh...bc i never do it XD)

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  8. Abby! YOU'RE BLOG HEADER! Sign. Write. Eat waffles. Made me laugh for sure. AAlIYAH- Breaking the image of the stereotypical teen is awesome! This is so unique and inspiring!

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    1. OHMYGOODNESS I AM IN LOVEEEE WITH HER NEW HEADER!!!!! IT'S GREATNESS :')

      And thank youuuu!! WAH I AM SO BLESSED WITH ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL COMMENTS :""""")

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    2. EEEEEEEEPDFGHJK THANK Y'ALL SO MUCH I'M SO HAPPY YOU LIKE THE NEW HEADER!! It very much describes me as a human... ;)

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  9. Wow, this was inspiring! I have so many "artsy" hobbies and ideas that constantly fill my head. It overwhelms me so I end up wasting the time I could (and should) be creating! This was a lovely, beautifully written pep talk for me. Thank you Aaliyah! OH and we share the same middle name! COOLS! -Abbie C.

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    1. Thank you, dear!! Yes, I agree. It's totally overwhelming!! Sometimes I get so frustrated *laughing emojis* *crying emojis* You're so welcome!! WOW THAT'S STRAIGHT UP RAD :)

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    2. GAH THIS IS FABULOUS. <3 and omg twinsies O_O

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  10. Oh, this is so beautiful and inspiring! I struggle enormously with living fully. I, too, want to find the joy in simplicity, but it is SO HARD.

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It's totally an enormous struggle. It is one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do. LIKE LITERALLY TOP OF THE LIST :'''') It's SO worth it, though!!

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    2. SAME SERENA. <3 omg we all just need Aaliyah to coach us in life. for realz

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  11. Replies
    1. am i

      am i seeing this correctly

      rachel is now team #panffle

      whoa






      this is the apocalypse

      HAHA I LOVE YOU RACHEL :)))))))))))))

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    2. OMG THIS IS THE APOCALYPSE!!! WE ARE CONVERTING HER AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH WOOOOOOOTTTTT<<<3333333

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  12. wow supa blessed by this
    also that hashtag is going to be sued on sO many of the isntagram posts by me
    U R INSPIRING OK KEEP DOING U <3 U

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    1. wow supa blessed by YOOUUUUUUUUUU!
      my twin has come to give me a comment and that makes me happy :''')
      UGH YAY I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THEMMM!!!!!! asdfgjkl
      I WILL. I WILL KEEP DOING ME IF YOU KEEP DOING YOU. <3

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    2. Y'ALL ARE GOALS

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  13. AALIYAH CAN YOU READ MY SOUL BECAUSE FJKLJSDLIAFSDKLJASOIRHFDSLFJSL

    This.

    This.

    "There's so many colors between black and white. Find them. Explore them. Love them all. Life is a beautiful occasion. So live it."

    /Living/ Is something I've been fascinated by over the past year. How to, as you said, see the little things and appreciate the beauty all around us. But what I'm currently trying to do it to live in the hard moments and the times where there isn't a lot of beauty all around. Sometimes, our life is work. But that doesn't mean that we can /live/ that kind of life too.

    Anyways, you really inspired me to embrace my creative side and look for creative ways to give thanks and glory to God! This post rocks!!!

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    1. UM I DON'T CLAIM TO BE ABLE TO READ SOULS SO MAYBE IT'S A SUPER WEIRD COINCIDENCE?????? hehe

      I love that line, tbh. *laughing emojis*

      It is so fascinating, isn't it?! Yes!! I love doing that!! Finding beauty in the darkest or hardest places is honestly so hard but so rewarding and special.

      AND THANK YOU SO MUCH :''') I AM GLAD TO HAVE INSPIRED YOU!

      YOU ROCK!

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    2. eeeeeeEEEEP SAME HANNAH

      SHE DOES READ SOULS

      SHE HAS READ MINE AS WELL. :'')

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  14. Loving this series already, and what a fantastic way to kick it off!!! Aaliyah, the idea of exploring living vs existing is so cool and definitely something I need to be more intentional about. Thanks for opening my eyes on this! :)

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    1. I cannot express my excitement for this series!! EEP

      Thank you so much for your uber sweet comment, Olivia! You're so welcome :)

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    2. AW OMG I AM ALL SO EXCITE THAT YOU'RE ALL SO EXCITE. *cries happy tears and munches waffles* <3 <3 <3

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  15. Love the post. I admire how you have put together all the little thoughts about living life to the fullest, It sue does help to appreciate life more and live more fruitfully. Happy day to you

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    1. Thank you so much! Happy day to you too!!

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    2. AALIYAH IS BRILLIANCE. <3

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  16. AAAHH LOVED THIS POST SO MUCH LIKE NOT EVEN KIDDING.
    I literally mean it. I think I commented on your Growing to Live post about it once before?? Idk, but this is something that really means a lot to me...like living life to the fullest and embracing originality and realizing that every day is a gift, because a couple years back, there were some not so fun stuff I was dealing with, and coming out of that phase in life, it's like, WOAH. LIFE IS GOOD BECAUSE GOD IS GOOOOOOD. <3 I love your very last sentence --- "So live it." I honestly feel like that's something that I'd frame on a wall or something. Because, simply put, LIVING life for Christ is my PURPOSE and without that I'd be so lost, so yeah.
    anyways, love this post Aaliyah and I'm super excited for the rest of the series ♥

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    1. WAH THANK YOU SERIOUSLY SO MUCH!
      Yeah, you did!!!
      honestly

      there's a lot of lines in this post that are probably all in my blog posts and journals, haha! GO AHEAD AND FRAME IT MAN :'''')

      Thank you for your LOVELY comment, Autumn!!

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    2. "I love your very last sentence --- "So live it." I honestly feel like that's something that I'd frame on a wall or something." <<<< SAAAAAAME AUTUMN SAAAAAME. I WANT TO FRAME THIS REALLY BAD :'''') IT IS SO WISE AND BEAUTIFUL.

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  17. This was amazing post and so inspiring! I just want to copy this, print it and frame it so I can read it every single day because this is what I've been struggling with for a long time now. Living to the fullest is quite a challenge and I find myself often wasting my time and talents doing nothing productive. But thanks to your post girls I will try and change my approach. BIG THANK TO YOU BOTH. :)

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    1. WOW. WOW. WOW. THANK YOU. I don't think I could say that enough. asdfghjkl

      It is definitely a challenge! You are so welcome. THANK YOU for your sweet sweet comment!!

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    2. sdfghjkjhg SAME SIMONE. OMG SAME. <3 I obviously need to read this post like every day too. :'') *hugs yall*

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  18. This is so neat! Living life to the fullest and ENJOYING it to the glory of God is something I've been trying to live out day by day recently! Let me tell you...it's hard. I fail so often. And being a perfectionist, I end up beating myself up about in in my head a lot. I'm still learning. :)

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Maggie!! I feel like a lot of people are exploring this and that makes me SO happy!! And believe me, I am a recovering perfectionist so I know ALLLL about that!

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    2. OMG HELP ME RECOVER FROM MY PERFECTIONISM AALIYAH. HELLLLP MEEEEEEEEE <3 *all the weeping emojis* i feel such solidarity with yall x)

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  19. I love this so much! Of course Aaliyah always blows my mind and makes me want to live bolder. :) Awesome post! Also glad to start keeping up with your blog!! xx

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    1. oh hi best friend how are you didn't expect to see u here love u

      BUT FOR REAL. I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! can you just stop talking about me so highly all the time because I think I might burst.

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    2. AALIYAH ALWAYS BLOWS MY MIND TOO. :''') ALSO A BIT (HAHA A LOT) JEALOUS BC YOU KNOW HER IN REAL LIFE <3 EEEEEEEEEP

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  20. WOW!!! just....WOW. Loved the pictures, and... just... WOW...

    Also, You've been tagged for the Rising Authors Tag. thedepthogmyfaith.wordpress.com

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    1. tbh WOW is the only word I have after reading this post too :') ♥

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  21. LOVE THIS. I came away sooo encouraged from reading this. Thank you so much. Oh, by the way, I'm following your blog now!! Great post! :) :)

    ~Megan (megans-journals.blogspot.com)

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    1. GAAHHH YAY!! Aaliyah is supah encouraging omg <3

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    2. Awh, YAY! Thank you so much for your sweet comment!!!

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  22. This is the coolest! And I feel like it's come at such a perfect time -- It's something I've been thinking about as I come to the summer, and it's something I want to focus on, because I let so much life slip by me and just...don't do anything. I'd really like to stop doing that and work on the things I'm passionate about, as well as learning some new things! So thank you for this. I'm bookmarking it on my computer. <3

    (Also this is the coolest blog series, so like, if you need more people...I am here. :P)

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    1. EEEEP HI AIMEE!! thank you so much!! I'm so happy you like this blog series!! (And GAH YES I WANT TO INTERVIEW YOU. I've already scheduled this whole series, so it might not be until I get home... BUT DEFINITELY HAPPENING. ;D) and I CAN RELATE SO MUCH. I feel like that especially in the summer too. x) BECAUSE SUMMER FEELS SO FLEETING. but I don't want it to be -- I want to enjoy every moment. <3 AALIYAH IS SO WISE. :')

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    2. AMEN AND AMEN AND AMEN TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID, AIMEE. <3

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  23. FIRST OF ALL AALIYAH IS A GORGEOUS NAME

    Secondly, what a inspiring way to live! I, unfortunately, am awful at living in the moment, but practice makes perfect right?

    I love this series, Abbie. And I love this post, Aaliyah!

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    1. RIGHT?? Everything about her is awesome tbh ^.^ AND EEEP THANK YOU GIRL I AM SUPAH EXCITED FOR THIS SERIES (but more excited for you know what asdfghjklkjhgfdsfh) also I am terrible at all of this too so #solidarity *nervous laughter* XD

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    2. OH WOW THANKS, ASHLYN :''') i like my name too :)))

      It is totally inspiring!! It is expanding my creativity and just all around mindset and it's GREAT.
      Thank you SO much!

      and abbie can you like not say all these beautiful things about me because i'm going to bReAk.

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kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.