An Ode to Jenna Marbles

If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet – specifically YouTube or Tumblr – in the last decade, at some point you’ve probably run across Jenna Marbles. Considered to be a part of the original group of YouTubers, Marbles posted her first notable video in 2010 titled ‘How to Trick People into Thinking You’re Good Looking’. Instantly a star thanks to her witty humor, adorable pets, fun skits and relatable content, Jenna Marbles has continued to make thousands laugh every ‘Wednesday-slash-Thursday’, until now. 

From make-up tutorials to dog birthdays to drunk crafts, Jenna Marbles has been a constant in my life for a decade. There was a time recently, when I was deep in the waves of a gnarly depression spell, where the weekly videos she posted were the one thing I could count on to give me a brief moment of happiness. Just five minutes where I would feel okay – a few lighthearted laughs at whatever antics she pulled. Even if it was one of her less exciting videos where she dip-dyed Crocs just for the hell of it – it was everything to me. 

Her content has changed dramatically over the years. Starting out she was a foul-mouthed ranting 22 year old in the Wild West of the internet. She made some problematic videos which were removed over the years as she transitioned into her new style. She’s since become a much more calm, mindfulness-minded *32 year old lady*.

Jenna decided to leave YouTube, social media, the whole shebang, at the beginning of the summer this year after many fans brought back long-deleted videos where she was being problematic. She posted one of the most realistic and relatable apology videos (that has since been removed) that I’ve ever seen and trust me, I watch them all when I’m bored – shout/out James Charles for the never ending stream of them. This is my ode to Jenna Marbles.

Jenna,

You’ve allowed us unfiltered access to your life for a decade; through break ups, new pets, new homes, everything. You’ve created endless jokes and relatable content for a sea of greedy fish. While I’ve never met you and never will, you provided a light during the darkest times of my life and for that, I will be forever grateful. I hope that you feel as much love and happiness as you’ve given to us over the last ten years, even if you decide to never return to the internet world. 

Always a fan,

Bailey 

The 5 by 5 Rule & Selective Energy

I tend to live life in the gray. Meaning, I’ve never fully felt like an extrovert, nor an introvert, I’m not full blown OCD about things, but I am Type A – it’s my way, or the highway (most of the time) but I guess that’s the Taurus in me. Yet, I do firmly say it’s only my way most of the time, because I actually strive to find compromises with people so everyone can be happy… but one thing I incessantly struggle with?

I usually get worked up over the tiniest of things.

This reverts back to the whole Type A thing, when I have a certain way of doing things, and I communicate this “amazingly perfect” way to others – I assume they will hop on board and think, “Oh yes, wise Emily, your way is spectacular I wish I had always known this manner of doing this task! I will now and forever do it this way!” But the crazy thing is, most people don’t automatically hop on my bus. They can see in the moment how great, efficient, and fluid my way is… but it’s not their vibe. They have their own preferred way and *deep breath* I have to accept that.

Something someone had told me years ago was the 5 by 5 rule:

“If it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes upset by it.

And honestly, up until like three days ago, this rule always bugged the crap out of me. It would make me want to yank my hair out and scream, “I CAN’T THINK ABOUT FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, MAYBE I WILL STILL BE BITTER THAT THE WRONG FONT WAS USED FOR THAT THING. DON’T TELL ME TO REDIRECT MY ENERGY!”

But this is the thing, little “errors” like spacings, or fonts, or filters, or scheduling genuinely could get me worked up. Like, I have explicitly laid out this yellow brick road for you Dorothy, why are you rollin’ down that red path?!

But you know what? If Dorothy wants to drift and do her own thing, that’s her business.

This whole crazy covid life we live has really put the 5 by 5 Rule in perspective. I can tell you right now that any of the stressing I did in 2015 has no business in my 2020 mind, and I can only assume that 2025 will have its own problems and its own blessings (trying to stay positive here).

The world is already so messy right now, don’t let the mess take over your head. Especially with the current happenings, the scary unknowns, don’t waste your time stressing on small things – focus on the big picture, the stuff that matters, and when the little things start to get under your skin, put the 5 by 5 Rule as the background vibe in your mind and turn your immediate focus to a tangible beauty for a few minutes.

A tangible beauty being something like absorbing the sunshine (even just sitting in front of your window), a quick laydown in your comfy bed, a slow walk around the neighborhood… find a tangible beauty in life to replace the current irritations attempting to dig roots into your skin.

Don’t feed the beast – it’s so, so easy to feed it. But imagine what feeding the beast could do, with each angry bone you toss it, the thing grows and grows, and what does that do to your inner child? Have you ever seen a child excited for the company of a terrifyingly rude and ruthless beast? One that could scream at them for the littlest of things?

Nope? Didn’t think so.

Don’t misunderstand, the big thing I’m not saying is “Don’t stress – ever!” Stress is inevitable, being totally carefree is hard and anyone who seems carefree all the time… or says they’re carefree all the time… is probably full of BS. But what they’re doing right (maybe) is not sweating the small stuff, they only stress about the things worth stressing about.

Ultimately, when you catch yourself getting worked up and overwhelmed, think about the 5 by 5 Rule, yes – but mostly choose where your energy goes.

Sometimes it’s as simple as firmly saying to yourself, “I’m not going to give into this stress. I’m not going to give into this situation. This is not my vibe, this is not worth my precious time and energy.

. . .

Mindfulness Magic

Stop what you’re doing for a second. Stop reading this and do these five things:

  1. Look around the room and name five things that you can see.
  2. Focus on four things that you can feel.
  3. Name three things that you can hear.
  4. Notice two things that you can smell. 
  5. Focus on one thing that you can taste.

Congrats! You’ve just completed your first grounding technique that is taught many times in practicing mindfulness. It’s supposed to help bring you back into the present moment, which is a main component of mindfulness.

Mindfulness, noun: the state of being conscious or aware of something.

Headspace.com describes mindfulness as, “…the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.”

A lot of us are always going, always moving, thinking “okay when I get off work I have to do ____.”, “I can’t wait until the weekend so I can go ____.”, “I’m so worried about ____ because I can’t control ____.”

Does that sound familiar? It’s because we’re not present. We’re not living the beautiful moment that is right now. Everything before this moment is unchangeable, and everything after this moment is unpredictable. Sure, it’s okay to get excited about something happening in your future, but think about the times when that thought of excitement turns into anxious thoughts, worrying, etc. It sucks and it causes a lot of issues — I’m speaking from lots of experience. Even as I write this I’m experiencing it. LOL.

Have you ever thought about how mindful you’re being at any given moment? Researchers on mindfulness put together this quick little questionnaire to help you out!

You might be wondering why this matters — what are the benefits to being more mindful? Lucky for you, Headspace is back at it again with the wonderful information you need:

  • You’ll have lower glucose levels.
    • Researchers at Brown University found that those who scored higher in mindfulness were more likely to have healthier glucose levels than those who scored lower.
    • Mindful people are more inclined to believe they can change important things in their life as well, found in a study from the University of Pennsylvania. Mindfulness helps people feel less ashamed when presented with advice; making them more motivated to change.
  • Develop better eating habits.
    • Think about it! (Pun intended). Being more thoughtful about your food choices would obviously help you identify when you’re hungry, satiated, or too full.
  • Less anxiety and stress.
    • Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center found that patients with anxiety disorder (omg meeeeeeee) had reduced stress hormone and inflammatory responses to stressful situations after taking a mindfulness meditation course.
  • Better ability to focus and improved memory.
    • Again, researchers published papers in the Journal of Management finding mindfulness stabilizes attention to the present moment. Those who studied mindfulness meditation were more likely to remain vigilant longer during tasks.
    • UC Santa Barbara researchers found that simply two weeks of mindfulness training can improve reading comprehension, working memory capacity, and ability to focus.
  • An increase in pain relief.
    • Wake Forest Baptist researchers conducted a double-blinded study including 78 healthy volunteers, and found that pain was reduced by over 20% after meditation.
  • Better sleep! Yay!
    • According to an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine, sleep from meditation improved in older adults that had trouble sleeping.

So like… where’s the negative? I’ve had some pushback from people when I express my love for mindfulness meditation and I don’t get it. What’s the worst that could happen? Even if you tried meditating for 10 minutes and didn’t feel you were “doing it right”, you were still able to get 10 minutes to yourself, right? You time is the most important time.

You deserve to live in the moment. You deserve to be present. You deserve not to worry or feel anxiety about the past or the future, because it’s unchangeable. What already happened, happened. And what’s going to happen, is going to happen, whether you like it or not.

I’ll leave you with a quote by boss babe meditation teacher and author, Megan Monahan:

“There is no good or bad meditation. The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do.”

“Don’t Hate, Meditate” – Episode 312 of Highest Self Podcast

Finding Peace

This article is the conclusion to a journey I began years ago. I’ve shared some personal stories about domestic abuse, some destructive coping mechanisms I used, and now it is time to talk about the peace I found after it all. I kept reiterating in my previous articles how we are not the victims forever, and I stand by that to this day. I wouldn’t be where I am without these humbling experiences. I grew my own wings that my gut was trying to tell me to do for years. With the help of my friends and family and self-determination, I was able to be the woman I always knew I was.

Initially, I was scared. I had no money, no motivation, and felt like my career was in the hole, and I had to block out a lot of people in my life. But what was really happening was that I was saving money, building stronger relationships with my close friends, and truly focusing on myself for once. I found myself developing a skin routine and a forming a healthy diet. I planned my future. I went back to college and now am on a path to graduate in a year.

What also became a constant in my life was spirituality. I never had been a religious person and I’m still not. Yet, I found spirituality really explained and helped me with a lot of things that have happened in my life. We all say cliche things like “everything happens for a reason” and “there are no such things as coincidences.“ Heck, I truly believe all that now! I believe people are put into and removed from your life and it’s all apart of the journey. Some people are not meant to be along for the ride and that’s okay. I came to the conclusion that I could find peace in knowing the things I can control vs the things I cannot and should not force. I have everything I need in my life to make the difference I’ve always wanted to make.

I made a vow to not let another person, especially a man, ruin or disrupt my inner peace. Yes, there are days where that was very hard to do, but ultimately, I am happy without the stress and chaos. I truly am blessed to have gotten to know the side of a man that I never thought I’d see again. I had been given a gift in the form a gentle, kind, selfless, respectful human. My boyfriend was put into my life and I have cherished every waking moment with him. He is a significant factor that has played a huge part in my searching for peace. He helped me realize that just because I was a victim and enabler before, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again and that is such a relieving feeling to know I’m still able to love and to be loved.

For the women or men that have walked in these shoes, there is happiness and success resting on the other side of this hill. Peace is found in many forms: a loving friend’s smile, a cup of coffee in the morning, and instead of thinking about your troubling past….you think about your exciting dreams, a week secluded in the woods watching the sunset, connecting with a religion or your spirituality, starting a self care routine, or even writing about your journey and being able to appreciate the things currently around you that you never thought would come from it. We all deserve peace and you will find it.

. . .

If you or someone you know is being affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-9474.

You are not alone.