I’ve Been Having a Tough Time…

Hello, all of you spooks. I know I promised the posting schedule will be better, but stressors on the outside have made it nearly impossible for me to focus on my work. My best friend is getting married on Saturday, which led to a few conflicts that blew up into something way worse than it should have been. (Luckily, everything is all right for now.) My full-time job at a casino was insanely busy due to Memorial Day weekend, and I also work extra days straight due to the wedding coming up over the weekend.

A positive side, though: I’m finally starting my Sundays and Mondays off this week, which will leave me so much more time for hangs with friends and actual dates with my boyfriend. (We see each other every week, but I’m not sure that sitting at his house doing his laundry while he works is not the most romantic thing in the book.) Not to mention I worked early yesterday and got to spend the night with my boyfriend, our friend, and his mother.

With every bad, you have to find a positive; at least that’s what I’ve taken away from things happening in my life. You don’t have to be okay all of the time, but you also can’t dwell in the sadness and stay stuck. It’s hard for me to remember that still sometimes.

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and that you keep on trucking through the tough times in your journeys for happiness.


Retail Affliction and How to Overcome It

Regardless of your body shape or size, one thing most, if not all, of us women deal with is the difficulty that comes with shopping for clothes and shoes. With the minuscule irritations that come with the process, other than a temporary sense of frustration (or blind rage, if you’re me), we all also tend to develop negative images of ourselves which affect more aspects of our lives than maybe we ever realized. My insecure thoughts as a preteen and teenager due to my inability to connect with others my age mutated into the way I viewed myself overall, which then linked into my fashion (or lack thereof) all the way until college.

When I tried clothing on in a store and things didn’t fit, I shut down and gave up after one store. I hated myself to the point where I would have rathered worn my baggy cargo shorts until they looked like Tarzan’s loincloth than keep trying to look for new clothes and wear my shoes until the soles burned out rather than get new pairs. Clothes shopping literally enraged me, which shouldn’t be the case.

With that said, here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in my own journey over the past year and that I hope you find useful as well.

  1. Don’t be afraid to browse other stores if nothing fits at one store. Like I mentioned before, the lack of universal sizing standards is absolutely ridiculous, and several department stores like JCPenney and Boscovs sell several different brands for you to explore. You’re bound to find at least find one item that will work as long as you keep trying things on and searching with an open mind.
  2. Challenge yourself to browse items outside of your fashion comfort zone. Believe me, I know this one is difficult. We all find that one pant cut we know will fit or that one color that acts as our go-to, so it’s much easier to grab those at the store and go instead of explore new options. If you have the ample time to spend in a clothing store, grab a little bit of every style that catches your eye even for a second and bring it in the dressing room. You never know which looks you’ll slay until you try!
  3. Spend a minute or two taking in the view you see in the mirror and experiencing your thoughts/feelings in those moments. Whether it’s a piece that works on you or doesn’t, look in the mirror and acknwledge the thoughts and feelings that come with that reflection. If your shirt makes you look wider than you’d like, what about it makes you feel that way (cut, rouching, color, etc.)? If your pants fit perfectly, how are they cut to make you look and feel so good? Stand and look at yourself in just that new bra and your jeans and take in your half-bare self so you can finally look at that and say, “This is pretty nice.” Be in the shopping experience rather than just trying to grab something quickly.
  4. Make it fun! This sounds cliche, but it really does help if you can manage to make it fun. When I’m in a dressing room and trying on pants, sometimes I’ll start wiggling my butt if I think the pants fit well. Even if something is too big or small, I’ll take a silly mirror selfie and laugh at how silly it looks. If you have a friend with you, make your own fashion show and strut to that 360* mirror like you’re owning New York Fashion Week (even at a Forever21). I always get a good laugh this way.

There are obviously other ways you guys cope with difficult shopping trips, so leave them in the comments!

Battling the Voices In Our Heads

Warped Tour 2014
Warped Tour 2014 (with Lyssa at the top left)

Hey there, everyone. Even though this page primarily focuses on fashion and beauty, I also want to start some conversations about mental health awareness and make this place a safe zone for anyone else who struggles like myself.

To say I’ve been in a funk the past few weeks is an understatement. A few…well, shitty things happened, which hit my mind’s worst anxiety and depression triggers. The guy I was talking to and seeing since August/September stopped talking to me and answering me back without an explanation; he was my first everything (except for my “first time”), so it’s breaking my heart. I did the scariest thing I could do, in my mind, and trusted him only for him to leave without showing me any courtesy. And, a few days ago, I found out another friend of mine will die from cancer. It all sucks, and I’d felt more than ready to end all of the pain until a phone call this week with my friend Lyssa.

I mentioned what was going on in my life and in my head, and Lyssa stayed with me having nothing but patience and understanding. Even through my tears, her heart stayed kind and gentle. Then, she gave me some advice that (somehow) managed to sift through the storm clouds brewing in my mind; she told me that bad things will happen, but I have control of how to handle those situations and that it just takes time for the good things to come into my life, if I give it that time and work hard. She said I’m a beautiful person and she loves me, and it was the rare time when I really knew someone meant what they said to me.

At the end of our phone call, Lyssa assigned me some “homework” I need to send her every night. The first thing I need to do is keep writing on here and make it for me and show her that I’m working on my blog. The other thing I have to do is send her a photo of a journal entry every night so I can record what happened during a day, what I’m thinking, feeling, etc. Now, while I’m going to my therapist every week and working on learning about the deeper parts of myself, she’s exercising my ability to change my mindset so I can live a life I want rather than give in to my mental disorders; she’s making me proactive. That’s what I need.

That phone call with my friend then sparked quite a few wonderful memories that I’d almost pushed into the back of my mind. I remembered my two weeks doing anti-bullying press work with my friends on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour and how I met so many amazing people and overcame my social anxiety so much. I remembered my friend Bethany telling me at the end of Warped Prom (the night I left tour), “You’re one of us.” I belonged somewhere. People liked me. I felt happy.

I’ve hung out with so many cool people in the music scene and had some great conversations, both musicians and fans. The four friends who went to see Steel Panther with me and I had so much fun together; I even went onstage when Michael Starr motioned for me to come and danced (when I never dance) with my friend Danielle. I thought of the one night I went out with my “gay bae” (one of my best friends, but I use “bae” facetiously) Jacob, my brother, and his girlfriend, and Jacob introduced himself to my brother’s girlfriend by saying, “Hi. I’m gay,” before we got 40 McNuggets altogether on the way home later that night.

The depression and anxiety make things so awful and dark. When you get in those funks, it’s so difficult to get back to yourself and remember who you are, what you love, and who really loves you and matters. Once the clouds dissipate, though, regardless of how long they stay away, the beautiful parts of life start to show themselves again. And then, even if it’s just for a moment, you feel free; you feel happy. To all of you who also suffer, please work on remembering that with me.