“Stories change and shape the future. We get to learn and uplift people all through the stories we share:” words from Malanna, a blogger, YouTuber, and lover of Grey’s Anatomy. I was first drawn to Malanna because of the love and joy she so tangibly emits in her social media presence. This is an extraordinary feat because—as we all know—social media can so often feel impersonal and self-centered. She is a great example of how our personal stories can be used to touch other people for good.
Malanna’s blog and YouTube channel are both named Journey 1807. This name is a great representation of Malanna and her passion for living life as a journey and her love for Grey’s Anatomy (her favorite episode being #18 in Season 7). Her content is all about helping others find self-love in their journeys. The concept Malanna calls “journeying” arose from New Year’s resolutions—or, rather, the difficulty in sticking with New Year’s resolutions.
By changing the terminology, Malanna changed her mentality surrounding goals, and eventually, her approach to life.
She has taken the approach that “life is a journey, not a destination.” Obviously, this is much easier said than done. But, somehow, Malanna has managed to attain this seemingly out-of-reach state of mind. By insisting that “mistakes will be made and faults will be seen,” she allows herself to be imperfect while still striving for improvement. This, coupled with her desire to help others, is powerful.
She is particularly passionate about nutrition and educating people on its importance. She first found this love while working in her job at a nursing home. She was forced into cooking duties, and from there, she made it a point to educate herself on what she was preparing for the nursing home residents.
Working at the nursing home wasn’t her original plan. Malanna started college, but was struggling with her mental health. Malanna has been very open about her struggle with anxiety and how she has learned to manage living with it. She first started to notice her anxiety a couple of years after high school. Like many top-performing high school students, Malanna found herself being out-performed by her peers. Her confidence took a hit, especially when her friends seemed to have things figured out.
In order to get back on her feet and be mentally sound, Malanna decided to leave college. This is a step that is commonly misconstrued as weakness. However, because Malanna took the time to figure herself out and become healthy again, she is getting back to college stronger than ever. During this hard time—as she has done in the other hard times she’s faced—Malanna relied heavily on her faith as a Christian. She was able to gain a renewed perspective from her faith, knowing that there something larger than herself. She also took the time to invest in self care. It was during this period that Malanna was converted to the power of loving yourself and wanted to spread the message of “journeying” to others.
Malanna’s blog and YouTube channel are all about focusing on having a centered life.
In her content, she addresses self care in nutrition (as previously mentioned) but also in skin care and beauty tips. She also touches on beauty tips for the interior. One of my favorite videos she has posted is the “Anxiety Playlist.” It is such a simple and upbeat, yet, insightful and meaningful, means to help others. You can also enjoy Malanna’s refreshingly funny, fun, and far-reaching explanations of the songs that help her here. You can tell that Malanna has been able to achieve this level of emotional intelligence because of a constant desire to understand and educate others.
The nursing home she works at is predominantly made up of white residents. As you can imagine, she has gotten some discriminatory remarks while serving the residents. Malanna’s reaction to these racist remarks has me in awe of her: She insists that these kinds of situations are opportunities to educate. She has every right to be upset by the offensive comments and treatment. However, she believes that “if you meet anything with love, something beautiful is bound to come out of it.” That doesn’t mean that the words don’t hurt or her feelings are invalid. It also doesn’t mean that her attempts to educate are even well-received. It does mean that she has personally found a way to combat hate that she feels good about, and that has yielded some positive results.
One of the things I love most about Malanna is how she embraces her humanity.
She allows herself to make mistakes and learn from them. She doesn’t pretend to be perfect. In fact, it is through her imperfections that she is able to relate to others. She admits that she can yell and curse (don’t we all) and sometimes be vulgar (same). She has fears about “trusting the wrong people; oh, and cats.” She admits that there can be some problematic things in the Christian faith concerning “arrogance” and the occasional hypocrisy. She shows astounding self awareness that is far beyond her years.
Malanna is a woman that I have come to admire very much. She makes her interactions with people meaningful, no matter how small. She is creating a space on social media that rejects judgment and encourages healing. She is able to cope with what life throws at her with an infectious sense of humor and an emotional maturity that is inspiring for anyone who meets her..
Follow and Subscribe to Malanna on -
Blog: Journey 1807 Site
YouTube: Journey 1807 Channel