I can’t believe Halloween is less than a week away- especially since the weather is still pretty decent here in Boston, it surprisingly hasn’t been too chilly lately! If fall is flying by this quickly, I can imagine it’s going to be Christmas in no time. I already bought a few Christmas presents for my friends and Nathaniel, even though I obviously don’t have to worry about that for another month or so. I truly love buying Christmas presents for others, so it’s never too early for me. Just you wait, the second Halloween is over I’m going to be putting up my Christmas decorations and playing holiday music.
If you keep up with my blog every week, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been putting out as much content as usual lately. The short answer is that I’ve been so busy and I’m actually planning on rearranging my blog schedule in November so that I am only publishing two articles a week, rather than three. I definitely don’t want to stop blogging, but I know if I keep setting my expectations too high I will start to feel burnt out and discouraged. I definitely don’t want writing to feel like a chore, and right now, I’m just at a place in my life where work is so stressful and I don’t have as much free time as I would like to. As y’all know, I’ve been trying to rearrange my work load for a while now and find a better dynamic that works for me, because as of right now I’m commuting about 3 hours round trip per day and it is completely unsustainable (particularly for the wintertime as well.) Actually, right after I get my newsletter up on the site, I’m probably going to try to look for a few more jobs on Hire Culture or LinkedIn. Anything that pays a bit more and isn’t a four mile walk sounds like a good alternative to me!
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t feeling too hot last Thursday, but I think having an opportunity to sleep in and relax this weekend really gave me the boost I needed. Nathaniel and I went out on a little date this weekend and had dinner + a lovely walk in Boston, and then, we tried to make a Jenna Marbles-style soap hand, which sadly did not work because we used the incorrect type of soap. However, it was a good laugh altogether, and I have the positive takeaway of now owning four little soap boxes that will be perfect for making journals with!
I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at work tomorrow but I won’t lie, I’m hoping my time at this particular location is coming to an end soon. My managers are aware that I’m trying to transfer out, and even though they’re sad, they have said that they’re here to support me and help me. I’m looking forward to using this week to finish up projects, have some good fun with my friends, and maybe even catch up on a few books that I haven’t cracked open in a while. And of course, I am SO excited for Halloween! What do you guys want to be for Halloween? Let me know below.
Most of you know by now that I’m really interested in human psychology, emotions, and how our relationships with others can influence our internal views of ourselves. And sometimes, a specific word will get stuck in my head that I feel inclined to write about, such as “honesty,” “growing pains,” “grief.” or “stubbornness.” Today, the word that’s stuck in my head is “pity.”
Before even googling the actual definition of pity, I’d like to try and craft my own interpretation of what that means. In regards to self-pity, I think what that means is you’ve reached a point in your life where you feel unnoticed and unappreciated for the hardships and privations you go through. Maybe you don’t think your entire life is awful, but you think most parts of it are hard, and the only thing that makes you feel like you’re getting any sort of attention or validation for it is through feeling bad for yourself. So it’s not healthy, but it’s usually not malicious. I don’t think people who self-pity are bad people. I think they are damaged and haven’t developed healthy coping mechanisms for their stress or grief.
Webster says that pity is “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortune of others.” (I suppose in a situation of self-pity, the only word you would have to change is “others” to say “one’s self.”) When I was a bit younger, between the ages of 14-19, I would say I really struggled with self-pity. A couple of the aspects that contributed to this unhealthy cycle was a low self-esteem and a poor support system, and throughout the years, both of those things have improved enormously. Even though I was dealing with a lot of factors and stresses that were out of my control, like my parents splitting up, not being ‘popular’ or well-liked in school, and not being happy with my round face and my oily skin, it was still essentially my own responsibility for the way I felt about these things. I couldn’t change the fact that this was me and this was happening to me, but I could change the way I responded to it. So I learned to understand, accept, and even love the “broken” parts of my life. Although my mom and dad getting a divorce was a difficult change to adapt to, it actually turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Turns out, we’re all much happier in my family now that my parents are separated. I can’t change the fact that other girls and boys didn’t want to be my friend in high school, or the fact that I had acne and frizzy, curly hair, but I could change the way I felt about myself. And gradually, I was able to drop the self-pity. It wasn’t something that happened overnight, but that seldom happens with any self change. It was a slow, soothing process of letting go of the sorrow and disgust I felt towards myself. Instead of trying to change myself to better fit my peers, I tried to say, “You know what? I’m going to like myself today. And I’m going to like my face and my body today.” Eventually, I did start to feel really good about myself. And then one day, I realized that I was truly happy for myself and happy with the person I had become. Other people noticed, too. Change really starts from the inside and works itself outwards, like a spiral. I didn’t realize how much the way I perceived myself could affect how other people viewed me, too. And then, after I started to feel better about who I really was, I started having an easier time making friends and feeling confident in my interactions with others. Having a strong sense of self-esteem does wonders for your social abilities, even if you’re typically shy and reserved, like I am.
I’ve noticed people in my own life getting sucked into a cycle of self-pity, so this next paragraph is for those people. Sitting around and feeling bad for yourself gives you a burn in your stomach- a hot, mournful, painful, yet somehow self-satisfying burn that you start to feel like you deserve. Even though you may feel like you don’t deserve anything better in life because of what has happened to you or what your circumstances are, it’s unfair to yourself and others to self-pity. In the long run, you are only going to continue to perpetuate a low self-image and drive away your loved ones. And trust me, this is coming from someone who felt bad for herself for years. It’s a selfish thing to harbor so much self-pity. It makes other people feel like you’re unhelpable. And you don’t deserve to feel like a burden and a waste of a life- you deserve to feel like you are a worthy life and you have potential for growth and happiness. You don’t want to lay in a hospital bed alone someday, cold and gray, wishing you had just given the act a rest and enjoyed your life a little bit. Because at the end of the day, it’s not that deep. As Pam Muñoz Ryan once said, “You don’t have to get over it, but you do have to get on with it.”
Hi everyone! Hope you had a really great week and you’re looking forward to the days to come. My week has been much better than the one before, and I really feel like I am slowly healing from the pain and stress I was going through. I didn’t have anywhere to be this weekend, so I took advantage of that and caught up on a lot of sleep and “me time.” I remember this past Thursday night I essentially slept from 6pm to 7am, and that was a huge wake-up call for me that last week took a huge toll on me. I was exhausted, so hopefully that will provide some insight into why I was falling behind on everything else.
Today my main goal was to get my new phone set up, which my mom very generously sent to me in the mail (thanks, mom!), and I’m currently in the process of backing up my data onto the iCloud. It’s apparently going to take 4-5 hours, according to my phone, but at least it’s happening! I’m also passing the time by watching Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath, which is my current favorite show to binge-watch. I’ve also been really enjoying The Last Dance, which is a documentary series about Michael Jordan and several other basketball stars who played for the Bulls. No, I would have never picked this documentary to watch on my own, but Nathaniel put it on when I went to visit him, and I just got suckered into it. I honestly feel like I could get invested in any subject if the documentary was interesting enough- does anyone else feel that way?
As for other ways I’m trying to heal from my depressive episode, I’ve been trying to do a lot more journaling and raw, unfiltered writing in my notebooks to feel more in-touch with myself and my feelings. It’s been so, so helpful, and it’s really helped me to appreciate myself more and understand how my past traumas have intertwined with my current stresses. If you’re also going through similar stress and anxiety, I would highly recommend finding a list of depression-specific prompts and answering one per day. I also made a bubble/flow chart of everything that’s on my mind lately, and discovered through making arrows that several of them were interconnected. That has been really helpful for me to break my stress into smaller pieces and tackle the smaller issues first, working my way into the bigger issues.
So basically, the sparknotes of what I’m trying to say is that I’m really proud of how I’m doing and the healthy coping mechanisms I am taking to better myself. Nathaniel has also been absolutely wonderful throughout this time, remaining patient and loving even in the moments that I’m hard on myself.
I am working tomorrow through Thursday, per usual, and then my good friend MJ is coming to visit me from New York. Don’t worry, we are fully intending on keeping ourselves safe and socially distancing. I’m really excited to see them, because the last time I saw them was last August on the day we met. So this weekend is going to be our one-year friendversary, and I’m so overjoyed to be reunited with such an important friend in my life.
Anway, I’m going to try pre-scheduling all my content for this week so that I don’t have to worry about it while I’m working. I do like blogging and writing online, but sometimes, I just don’t have the energy to get it done! So here’s to hoping this week goes smoothly and painlessly, so that I can find that little bit of “me time” to get it done.
I probably don’t need to begin this by reminding y’all of these ‘unprecedented circumstances’ and I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing it, so I’ll just skip all of that and jump right in. As someone who struggles with anxiety and PMDD, it’s really important to me that I stay in-tune with my emotions and communicate with myself. If I feel like something is off or brewing inside of me, I try to confront it head-on and get to the root of the issue. Sometimes, of course, you just have to stop cross-examining yourself and give your mind a rest. Here are the ways that I take care of myself and practice self love, particularly in tough times like these.
I know it sounds really simple and cliche, but reaching out for support and upholding communication with your loved ones is so important! It can be as simple as a phone call to a best friend, partner, or family member. Whenever I’m feeling a bit gloomy or unmotivated, I’ll usually call either my best friend, Eli, or my boyfriend, Nathaniel. It doesn’t have to be a vent or a rant; even just having an upbeat, casual conversation can really lift my spirits and make me feel instantly better. In fact, sometimes it’s actually really nice and helpful to take your mind off the things that are driving you crazy, and focus on some more lighthearted thoughts for a while.
Another way I maintain my mental health and practice self care is by keeping up with a personal journal, and no, I don’t mean my weekly blog newsletter! I have several actual print journals I write in, and unlike my blog content, I don’t share my journal with anybody. I think it’s important to have a special place where you can freely pour your thoughts onto paper, and not have to worry about what anyone else may think. I’m also starting to get into the art of junk journaling, which not only entails writing, but also crafting and sewing! I think it’s really beautiful to journal to yourself, and in most cases, it can give you a lot of clarity about problems you may be having.
This is one that I particularly struggle with a lot: reminding myself that I am trying my best. Particularly in these strange times with my normal schedule being disruptive, I’m feeling less motivated and focused than usual. I also have ADD, which is making it really difficult for me to focus during my online classes. However, even though I’m sufficiently stressed and sometimes doubting myself, it’s important for me to remember that I am doing the best in these bizarre circumstances- and you are, too! It’s totally okay to feel not on top of your A game, because frankly, nobody knows what they’re doing right now. All you can really do is remind yourself that you are working your hardest in the given circumstances, and try to be gentle with yourself.
Along with taking physical actions to improve my wellness, there are also a couple of analogies that help me to put things into perspective when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed. The first one comes from a wonderfully funny Buddhist monk named Ajahn Brahm, who posts fascinating lectures on YouTube, by the way. He said something in a video once that really impacted me, and the analogy has stuck with me since. Basically, he compared having lots of different stresses in your life to carrying around lots of heavy rocks in a backpack. He reminds us that it’s important to evaluate what ‘rocks’ we are carrying around, and to decide what weight we can take out of our backpacks and out on the backburner for a while. For me right now, I’m dealing with the stress of online college, finding a job after graduation, coronavirus, moving into my first apartment, etc. Ajahn Brahm’s analogy helps me because it’s a great way to physically envision everything on my plate, and subsequently decide what I can put on hold for a while to make the weight of life more bearable.
Another analogy I really like comes from a book called When You Reach Me. Rather than try to explain the idea, I’ll just go ahead and insert the quote here:
“Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there’s a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don’t have to depend on the wind anymore.”
I’m not sure what it is about this quote that means so much to me, but I think about it all the time (at least a couple of times per week.) Pretty much every time I am reminded of the ‘big things’ in life, I can almost see myself lifting my veil and observing life in a more clear view. The other day, I stepped out of my apartment and noticed that the sunset was absolutely gorgeous. For me, that was such a veil-lifting moment: observing the quiet beauty of the world and forgetting about the tiny stressors in my life for a few minutes. And honestly, since that day, everything has felt a little bit more okay.
Animal therapy is a hugely successful way to alleviate stress in your life, and I’m very fortunate to have a dog around to keep me company. Sometimes, you really just need a support system but you don’t feel like talking, and that’s where pets come into play as wonderful companions. My dog doesn’t judge me or understand anything that’s going on- he’s just happy to be here, and that’s honestly all I can ask for. Petting animals can also help lower your blood sugar, so the next time you’re feeling stressed or upset, consider adding some animal therapy into your life.
Although it’s just a simple, little thing, taking bubble baths is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a crazy or overwhelming day. I really don’t understand people who say bubble baths are boring. Just bring a book or a podcast with you, or honestly, just scroll through your phone if you really want to. There’s just something utterly relaxing and wonderful about being immersed in hot water for a half hour with a few candles burning. Even better, it’s an easy way to avoid human interaction, so you can have some peace and quiet to yourself for as long as you want. For bonus points, go all out and have a complete spa night, with face masks and cucumbers on your eyes.
I suppose this sort of relates to the spa night idea, but lastly, I like to do hobbies and activities that make me feel beautiful- and I utilize that time for myself as being extremely important. For me, this is taking 30-60 minutes to put on my makeup, usually while I listen to a podcast or watch a video. I like the way I look bare-faced as well, but there’s just something about a full-glam face of makeup that makes me feel really pretty and confident in myself. I think makeup is also a great way to get to know your face and embrace your features, which ultimately means finding new ways to love yourself!
Those are all my tips and ways that I practice self-love and take care of my mental health. I hope you found this article helpful, and maybe you can even draw some inspiration from it! Let me know in the comments how you like to practice your own self-care.
As a follow-up to my article posted on Tuesday, today I’d like to share with you my usual nighttime routine! As with my morning routine, it tends to differ slightly depending on the day, but this is my usual groove for a weekday night.
The time I decide to get ready for bed differs on a nightly basis, but it’s usually some time between 10pm and 11pm. The first thing I like to do is remove all of my makeup, if I happen to be wearing any that day. I know my makeup probably looks grueling to remove every night, but it’s actually a pretty painless process. I use this cloth called ‘the makeup eraser,’ and it wipes off almost all of my makeup in one swipe. Even my mascara and false eyelash glue comes off pretty easily, and with very minimal scrubbing. I also like this cloth a lot because it’s a low-waste alternative to buying disposable makeup wipes, which saves me money in the long run.
After I remove all my makeup, I’ll usually brush my teeth and do my nightly skincare routine. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s article, I’ve been using Soap & Glory products lately in both the morning and at night. My usual line of action is cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, and occasionally I will exfoliate as well, depending on the condition of my skin. I have incredibly oily skin, so it’s really important to me that I go to bed with the cleanest, freshest skin possible.
This is kind of a weird, random facet of my nighttime routine, but before I get into bed, I ALWAYS go into my kitchen and make sure things are tidy. If there are dirty dishes, crumbs on the counter, etc, I have to take care of all of that before I go to sleep. I guess it’s just the way my mom raised me- you should never go to bed with a dirty kitchen or dishes in the sink! It’s a pretty good habit to get into, in my opinion, and it makes mornings just a bit more manageable knowing I don’t have to empty the dishwasher or clean pots and pans.
The very last thing I do before getting physically into bed is removing my contact lenses. I try to keep them in as long as I possibly can, because once they’re out, I’m pretty much as blind as a bat. I do own glasses, but the prescription is not up-to-date and I can’t see very well in those, either. Once my contacts are out for the night, I’m pretty much visually useless and I can’t really see anything farther than two feet away.
About 60 minutes or so before I want to actually fall asleep, I will take all of my medications and vitamins. I always take my medications around the same time every night to ensure that they’re working as properly as possible, particularly my birth control and escitalopram. The other medications are not as critical as those two, but they’re still important: calcium supplements, THC tincture, immune-boosting gummies, and 10mg of melatonin. I’m happy to say I’ve finally weaned off of Unisom, which I had been relying on for sleep for about five months. Now, just a single dose of melatonin is enough to get me sleepy and (usually) prevent me from waking up throughout the night. Remember last fall when I was having those horrendous sleep problems? Yeah, that was no fun. The good news is, I seem to have more or less recovered from that.
While I’m waiting for my melatonin to kick in, I’ll finish off the night by attempting to do something relaxing, such as reading, knitting, or listening to a podcast/Vsauce video. I’m reading a ton of books right now, and my boyfriend recently gave me a few more he thought I’d like, so I’m never short of novels to dive into before bed. If you saw my ‘What I’m Reading Right Now” article, you probably saw that I’m currently loving Memoirs of a Geisha, Anne of Avonlea, and In a Dark, Dark Wood. I’ve also just started reading Venus in Furs and some T.S. Elliot poetry, which I like quite a lot, and I’d like to delve into Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut, Selected Works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, Italian Journey), and The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud as well. With Freudian writings, I’m particularly interested in reading Psychopathology of Everyday Life, The Interpretation of Dreams, and The Theory of Sex.
Alright, that was a lot. Realistically, I usually read for around 60-90 minutes a day, or a chapter of 3-5 books each. After I start to get really sleepy, which is usually around an hour after melatonin, I switch over to YouTube and put on a Vsauce playlist to fall asleep to. I’m not quite sure why I love listening to his videos so much, but they are very relaxing for me and they help me to fall asleep within minutes.
Anyway, that’s my entire nighttime routine while working from home and self-quarantining! Like I said, it differs slightly depending on the day, and on weekend nights, I can sometimes skip steps altogether (except for kitchen tidying and medications- I NEVER miss those.) However, like anyone, sometimes there are just days when I don’t want to do my skincare routine. Or I would just rather binge watch Women Behind Bars than sit down with a stack of 19th-century novels and pretend I am a highly intelligent Victorian lady doting over high-culture literature. Whatever the night entails, I always try to aim for between 7-10 hours of sleep, so that I can start my day feeling bright and productive. Take care of yourselves, everyone! Beauty sleep is important. And stay safe, too!
Academically, I am one of the most stress-free people I know. I always get between 8-10 hours of sleep. I rarely spend more than an hour a day on schoolwork. And yet, consistently, I am a good student who manages to turn in all of my work on time, often with high markings.
The most interesting aspect of all of this is that I do have ADHD and learning disabilities, but instead of wrestling with it, I use it to my advantage. I realize what my limits are, and I don’t try to push myself towards objectives that will simply be a waste of time. For example, I am NOT a textbook reader. I never have been, and I never will be. Rather than sit in my room and spend four hours trying to absorb a textbook, I’ll do other work instead that I know can be easily maximized. I can write three papers in four hours, so I might as well knock that out instead.
In all my three years of college, I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars on thirty or so textbooks. Realistically, I think I’ve opened three of them in my life. I’ve never failed (or even come close to failing) a class.
If this is ringing any bells, I have an exercise for you- make a list of all your academic strengths and weaknesses. Can you do anything about your weaknesses? If yes, it might be time to buckle down and work harder. Or, do you have a disability that prevents you from excelling in a certain area? Stop sweating about it. Focus instead on what you do well, and I promise you will flourish.
Like I said, I’m not a textbook reader. I have a really hard time sitting myself down and reading something that’s simply not interesting to me. I don’t enjoy answering questions on worksheets, especially if they’re self-explanatory and sound silly to answer. And, the worst, is taking tests and exams. I do not like working under pressure in those types of environments, and having my objective knowledge tested in a subjective method has never meshed well for me.
That being said, I have my strengths. I love to write essays and find it really easy to punch them out. I can write an A-grade, five page paper in less than two hours. I’m also very comfortable in group discussions that enable me to share my thoughts, and can intuitively figure out subject matter very quickly (without reading the textbook). I am comfortable with admitting what I’m not great at, but I’m also not afraid to admit what I am good at. I believe, in general, we need to give ourselves more credit.
Like I said, because I have figured out my learning style, I am able to excel in the majority of my classes without stressing myself out exponentially. This is one of the biggest ways I keep my stress down- I focus only on doing my best, and if I feel like a task is a waste of time or energy, I find a way around it. That’s not to say “Give up when things get hard,” rather, “When things get hard, try not to stress too much. Carry out your work in the most effective way to your health and learning style.”
I always strive to do well, but I’m not obsessed with being an A+ student. College is a short channel in my life, it doesn’t define it- so I’m not going to work myself into a panic over the small stuff. I am totally and completely happy with soaring through college, and take B’s with gratitude. I am solidly okay with being “just average”, as long as it means my happiness and my health needs are met. I could never justify pulling an all-nighter to get a perfect grade on an assignment that won’t even matter in five years.
I have an article similar in nature to this one, which deals with how I manage my time at college. As a full-time student, I take six classes, post four blog articles a week, write for my school’s lifestyle magazine, and I still have time to take care of myself and get 8 hours of sleep per night. Like I said, it’s all about priorities. If I am assigned a fifty-page textbook reading for something I could just ignore and figure out myself, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Do I feel bad about that? No. That time is now going to be spent on something else, like an essay draft I’m really looking forward to starting early.
I hope this doesn’t come across as “slack off,” because that’s not what I want people to do. I don’t slack off- I maximize my time. Trust me when I say your mental health is more important than turning in every single assignment with flying colors, even if you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Take initiative to spend time with yourself and learn who you really are, and from there, everything will become a little bit more manageable. Every once in a while, it’s so important to let yourself relax.
Coming up next: Six Controversial Foods and My Opinions on Them
I’ve been feeling really great and calm for the past four days or so, and I’m expecting it to last for the rest of the week. However, once I reach the 3rd week of my pills, pure havoc is definitely going to break loose on my hormones. Better appreciate the calm before the storm while I can.
I was able to sleep in pretty late today because my Monday morning class only meets once a week, and the rest is done online. I got up around 11:30 and did a full face of makeup, had a sit-down breakfast, and now I’m working on some writing before my 2:00 class. I was able to sit and chat with one of my favorite professors today, and catch her up on all of my life happenings.
Today I’m working on my book gift guide and my Fab Fit Fun review, which will be out next week. I like to push about a week in advance when writing articles, at least. I love having something to constantly look forward to, something to constantly write.
Wednesday, September 18th
The work is starting to pick up a bit, which is good. I haven’t really been up to anything exciting, now that the initial chaos of my first week is over. I’ve definitely established my routine, and I still have extra time for self-care and adequate sleep. Maybe I’m just a fast worker, or maybe my workload just isn’t that heavy. It’s hard to say. I also feel like my temper is a bit more fiery than usual, but that comes and goes regularly.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately that I wish I had more friends, but specifically, more older, nerdy guy friends. Being on a college campus, of course, I’m surrounded by men and women in the 18-22 age range. I know this makes me sound arrogant, but I can’t stand being around most people in that age demographic. It’s especially annoying at my particular school, where cliques are rampant and drama spreads like wildfire.
18-22 year-olds are inherently selfish, and they should be. You’re still figuring yourself out and what you want to do with your life- it should be all about you. But being selfish makes it easier to hurt other people’s feelings, willingly or not. I prefer to spend my time with older, wiser, more experienced people, who (more or less) have their immediate life figured out. I like to hang out with people who have cars, apartments, and money, who are more inclined to talk about capitalism and American politics instead of trivial matters.
I know that this is what I prefer, because I’ve already formed these types of friendships in my young adult life. One of my best friends is a thirty-one year-old straight dude who lives in the Boston suburbs. I generally get along better with my professors than my classmates, and I’m sure many of them would attest to that. Drama really just seems to follow me when I start associating with other kids my age, especially catty girls.
I feel like it’s really not unheard of for lesbians to have more dude friends than average. I mean, what could be better than playing video games and talking about how hot girls are over a greasy bag of Burger King fries? Sounds like a pretty good gig to me.
I’m a little worried about my Micro-economics class. You may remember me saying last week that I was sure the abstract, big-picture ideas would go right over my head, and that’s exactly what’s happening. I’m trying to memorize the steps of the math, but in all honesty, I have NO idea what I’m doing. Thank goodness my professor only assigned four homework assignments for the entire semester.
Thursday, September 19th
It’s 11:59pm, and I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed with my computer in my lap. This week in general has been pretty uneventful, but I do have some exciting updates for the future. For one thing, I am going to see The Lion King musical with my family in about a month, per courtesy of my school’s uber-cheap tickets. I miss my mom and Mark a lot (even though he’s not my biological dad, I refer to them together as my parents), and I especially miss my dog. I don’t mention him a lot on here, but you can find pictures of Duke peppered throughout my social media!
I’m also considering joining my school’s fashion/beauty magazine, and it’s pretty much a done deal at this point. One of my classmates, who is a lovely friend, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to write for the magazine. From what she told me, the articles I would be writing are exactly the type of content I already love to put out. I’m very passionate about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, especially when it’s creative and unconventional. I’m looking forward to this opportunity!
Like I mentioned a bit earlier, I usually refer to Mark as my dad now because I am estranged from my biological father. I’m not sure if that’s something I mentioned before on here. I obviously think it’s important to keep some parts of your life private, but I would like to open up about that more in the future if it’s something that became relevant to my viewers. Especially if there is a young man or women going through a similar broken relationship with a parent, I want to be a voice for you and share as much of my story as I can, because I think it’s important to talk about these things. Even though the damaged relationship with my father is not my fault, I still feel a lot of guilt as a result of his manipulation and gaslighting. If something tragic ever happened to him, I would probably feel responsible for being a bad daughter. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, but like I said, I seldom tell people about that situation unless I feel it’s relevant or helpful.
Besides that being on my mind from time to time, I’ve been staying positive lately. I’m still working on finding the best treatment for my PMDD, but it might be something I have to take care of when I go home for my next holiday break. Many of the clinics and offices in my current location are booked out until the spring, so I might as well just talk to my primary care doctor when I go home instead. Or, best case scenario, maybe I’ll adapt to my current combination birth control pills sooner than later and I won’t end up needing to add another pill into the mix. That would be ideal, because I really want to get a cocktail on my 21st birthday and I certainly can’t do that while taking an SSRI!
Coming up this week
9/23- Gift Guide: The Perfect BOOK for Everyone on Your List
9/25- Gentleman Jack: A Celebration of History and Feminism
After what was actually a relatively short wait, I am so excited to have received my first-ever Fab Fit Fun box in the mail this week! I’ve heard a lot of things about the company, both positive and negative, so I’m ready to give you my honest thoughts about the entire experience, the contents of the box, and how I feel about the performance of the products.
I discovered Fab Fit Fun after watching a YouTuber unbox her own goodies. Fab Fit Fun, as the name may imply, is a subscription box that sends you a quarterly package of beauty products, fitness tools, and accessories. I personally love to spend my money on “trivial” things like lotion and makeup, so the box seemed like something I would genuinely get a good use out of. For someone who isn’t into getting a new lotion or eye cream every season, this probably isn’t the box for you.
Like I said, however, this is the kind of stuff I would spend my money on anyway. I love trying new products and reviewing them for you here, so I decided to give the box a go. Before I get into the actual products, I’ll tell you a bit about my experience ordering from Fab Fit Fun, and my general impression of the company.
One thing I really like about Fab Fit Fun is that they regularly team up with charities and organizations- every season, in fact! For the fall box, Fab Fit Fun is giving back to City of Hope, which benefits cancer research and other serious diseases. I’ve researched many of the brands this company features on their site, and I’m happy to say they all appear cruelty-free (and many are vegan). Those were the two biggest deal breakers for me- the ethics of the company, and the ethics of the products, and I’m impressed with both.
Before ordering my fall box, I made sure to read reviews from a number of different sites. I was shocked to see a lot of negative reviews, but upon reading them, they actually didn’t dissuade my opinion very much. I was expecting the negative comments to expose heinous, fraudulent business practices, but instead, I found people complaining that they got another lotion, and they didn’t WANT another lotion! ONE STAR!!
Especially after receiving my box and having a perfectly lovely experience with the company, I was kind of surprised so many people were angry that they received products they literally SIGNED UP FOR. Like, you’re really going to slander the brand and give them one star because they did their job? Weird flex, but okay.
What I’m trying to say is this- I don’t think Fab Fit Fun is a scam, or a fraud, or anything else people were commenting. I think those words were taken wildly out of context. Getting another really nice lotion in your box isn’t a “scam”, a scam would be if the company charged your card and then didn’t send you a box. Calm down, people.
Other people complained that the box took too long to ship. I can see that being a perfectly reasonable complaint, but I still don’t think it’s bad enough that the company deserves one star. I’m biased because I did receive my box in a reasonable time frame- about two weeks after I ordered. This was a pleasant surprise because the website said the boxes typically ship a month after you are charged. My next billing date is December 3rd, so my winter box should arrive between mid December and early January.
Another thing I really liked about the box is the customization option. You first of all will fill out a survey rating how interested you are in certain product areas. For example, I checked off that I am very interested in skincare and makeup (bring on the lotion), and less interested in hair care or fitness tools. This helps the curators of the box better suit the contents to your taste, and also, avoid adding products you would never use. There are some products that everyone will likely get, but then you have the option to choose 3-5 specific things. For example, some of my individualized choices were a Kate Spade lunch bag, an Anthropologie yoga mat, and some vitamin C mixing crystals.
Now, let’s touch on the price. Each box comes with 8-10 full-sized items, shipped to you quarterly (or four boxes per year). The price of one box is $49.99, but you can get your first box cheaper with a referral code. I’ll have to reach out to Fab Fit Fun and ask if I can plug mine in! 😉
To give you an idea of the amazing deal you’re getting, the retail price for the yoga mat ALONE was $50. I received the yoga mat and seven other products for $42, which means the value of everything in the box was upwards of $250. Like I said, you might not be someone who wants 8-10 new products a season, but for me, that’s something I would spend my paycheck on anyway. This subscription box is an awesome way for me to try new things without breaking the bank, because the savings are amazing.
I do have a theory about how Fab Fit Fun (probably) works behind the scenes. I obviously don’t have any proof of this, but I imagine it probably works in a similar way to Marshalls or TJ Maxx. For example, Marshall’s merchandise is mostly made up of stock that didn’t sell out very well, and that’s why the prices are so discounted. If Michael Kors puts out a shirt that doesn’t sell well, he can sell it at Marshalls for uber-cheap instead of just letting it sit in his warehouse forever. That’s how I ASSUME Fab Fit Fun works- they re-sell products and merchandise that didn’t initially sell out well, as a way to drain the stock. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; I love shopping at Marshalls and other discount stores.
I haven’t decided yet if I want to switch from a season subscription to a yearly one, because I want to receive the winter box before I make up my mind. If I’m blown away by the next box, I most likely will sign up for the yearly subscription.
Anyway, moving on to the part you’ve all been waiting for- my review of the products!
First off, the box itself is adorable and creatively designed. It was easy to unbox without destroying the cardboard, so I will probably be reusing the box in the future. On top, I received a gift card for HelloFresh, a referral code to give a friend, and a copy of the Fab Fit Fun magazine (which is just a beautifully written ad, in case you didn’t know). I did enjoy thumbing through the magazine, though, and got some insight on how to use the products sent to me. I’m probably going to give the HelloFresh gift card to my mom, because there’s an expiration date and she’s more likely to use it than me.
I am going to include the original retail price I received, but remember I got everything in this box for $42. All of these opinions are my own personal thoughts, and I will say up-front that while there were some things I liked, there were also some things I didn’t like so much.
Yoga Mat | Anthropologie | Retail price: $50
I would normally never be able to afford an Anthropologie yoga mat, so I was really happy to receive one in my box. I chose the mat because meditation and yoga is something I’ve wanted to get into for a long time, and now I have the perfect excuse. I think the design is really pretty, and the mat definitely feels high-end to me. The only negative thing I will say is that the mat is extremely thin, so it’s not ideal for working on a hard-wood surface. On a rug or a carpet, however, it should be fine.
Lunch Tote | Kate Spade New York | Retail price: $30
This is another product that I was able to choose, and I’m happy to say that the bag came exactly as pictured. Some people were complaining that the tote is too small, which baffled me. The tote I received feels pretty roomy and standard-sized, and the inside is insulated to help keep your food cold longer. It arrived a little crumpled because the tote was folded to fit in the box, but I was able to smooth it out pretty quickly. As a student who is always on the go, bag is going to be extremely helpful to me this year!
Pure C | Cosmedix | Retail price: $54
I was initially a little confused by what this product is meant for, but I think I’ve figured it out after thumbing through the magazine. This is pure, powdered vitamin C, which can then be combined with any beauty/skincare product of your choice. The pros are that pure vitamin C is extremely good for your skin, and this product is really easy to work with. Lately I have been adding a bit of it to my morning toner, just to give my skin a little extra brightness. I will say that I was surprised by how small the tube was, but I guess it makes sense, considering a little goes a long way. I haven’t been using this long enough to notice any definite results, but I’ll be sure to update you if my skin changes over time!
Hair Towel Wrap | Afterspa| Retail price: $18
The rest of the products from here, minus the aromatherapy rollerball, were all automatically added to my box (meaning I didn’t choose them). I’ve never actually gone out of my way to buy a hair wrap, because a regular towel has always worked fine for me. I have used this every night since I received it, but I wouldn’t say it’s incredible or mind-blowing. If it was made of an incredibly soft cotton, or had some other impressive quality, I would probably be more excited about it. But this just felt like a semi-cheap, odd-smelling, clearance item from a third-party seller. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, however, and if you prefer hair wraps over towels, you’ll probably find this more helpful than me. Not a miss, but not a total win either.
Deep Relax Rollerball | Aromatherapy Associates | Retail price: $29
I LOVE rollerball scents, especially organic, natural-smelling ones. I already brought a lavender one from home, and I always roll it over my pillowcase before I go to sleep. I’ve also started using this new one on my pillow as well, because it has a really calming, woody scent that immediately makes me sleepy. I love to carry this rollerball around during the day as well, in case I start to feel anxious and need a quick whiff of something relaxing. The power of aromatherapy is so profound, and I really don’t think it gets enough credit. I’m considering looking into the brand and ordering some more products from them, because I’ve already used a third of this bottle.
I normally don’t care much for hair care products, because my hair is so frizzy and thick and untameable. It’s hard for me to feel impressed by any hair product, but this repair mask genuinely left me SHOOK. You know that super-soft quality your hair has after you go to a salon? That’s exactly how my hair feels when I use this. I smooth it over my hair after I take a shower, sleep on it, and boom, I wake up with salon-soft hair. I know that probably sounds like an exaggeration, but I promise it’s not. This is hands-down the best hair repair product I’ve ever used, and my dry, damaged mane is now in paradise.
Exfoliating Sugar Cubes in Juice Cleanse | Harper & Ari | Retail price: $16
When I first unboxed this, I was expecting the scent to be something pepperminty or earthy, but it actually smells like fresh green apples. I love to spend my money on spa-esque products designed for pampering, so I was excited to immediately start using these! Like I said before, the smell is invigorating and so delicious. I wouldn’t recommend rubbing the cube directly on your skin, because the granules irritated my skin and left it feeling a bit raw. What I like to do instead is rub the cube in between my hands to get it soapy, and then disperse the soap on my arms and legs. It’s a very pampering step in my shower routine, and I look forward to the fresh scent it leaves on my skin before bed.
Body Soufflé | Human + Kind | Retail price: $18
The final product I received in my box is this full-sized body lotion, and I would say it’s probably one of my personal favorite items now. I could actually smell it before I even opened the box! If you’re into floral, fruity smells, this is going to be the perfect lotion for you. And, of course, I love that the brand is vegan and cruelty free. I actually forgot to bring a body lotion to school with me, so it worked out well that I received one in my box. I’ve been using it on my arms and legs every day, and the fresh apricot scent lingers for hours.
As you can see, the great majority of these products were a hit for me. The only thing I wasn’t really wowed by was the hair wrap, and I wish the yoga mat was a little bit thicker. Besides that, however, I think all of these products are going to be really useful in my daily life. It’s so fun to have a nice surprise look forward to, and now I’m excited to receive my winter box in December! Speaking for myself, I’ve had an easy time working with this company, and don’t really have much to complain about. It’s certainly not a fraud or a scam, and trust me, I have experienced scam companies before. Fab Fit Fun is legit, and if you have a fondness for beauty products, I’m certain you’ll love this subscription.
This review is not sponsored by Fab Fit Fun. I paid for the box with my own money, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I had an idea a while ago to add a new “lifestyle” tab to my blog. I write quite a lot about my opinions, purchases, and commentary on certain subjects, but I very rarely update you guys on the daily happenings of my life. So, that’s what Sarah’s Weekly Catch-up is going to be: something of a weekly diary where I keep you updated on my school life, routines, and general fleeting thoughts. I do love to write detailed, researched, fact-based pieces about social issues and media, but it’s also nice to write something more relaxed, like a weekly letter home. But instead of home, it’s a weekly letter to…the internet?
Anywho, I decided to start writing today because I’m moving back into school on Sunday. I’ve had a mostly great summer, filled with tons of sleep, dog-walking, writing, and even some working out. I was happiest at the beginning of the summer, because I was so sick of school by April and desperately needed a break. Around August is when things started to falter a bit, because I finally got off an anxiety medication I’ve been taking for three years (as the side effects were starting to interfere with my daily life). I knew it would be hard to wean off -and it some ways, it was easier than I thought- but physically, the process destroyed me. When you withdraw from a medication that literally alters your brain chemistry, such as an SSRI, your brain sometimes gets confused and sends confused bolts of tiny electricity through your head as it tries to re-group. This is a real thing called “head jolts”, and it more or less dominated my life for about 3 full weeks. Eventually it did go away as my brain adjusted, but there was a time in that three-week period when I had to crawl around my apartment because my head was absolutely spinning.
I sadly fell out of working out while all of this was occurring, because I was exhausted and disoriented and simply lost my drive. One of my goals for this school year is to get back into exercising, potentially with yoga and frequent walks. I’d also like to work on improving my diet, because while it is fairly healthy now, I think it could be better.
Another frustrating thing that happened in August refers to some drama I had with my college, but that literally happens every semester. I know that no school is perfect, but I’ve been repeatedly shocked by how unprofessional and nonsensical my particular college is. I’ve taken to printing out copies of the emails they send me and filing them away, so that I can whip them out in situations when receipts are needed. It’s a pretty complex story, but in a nutshell, my school cancelled a MANDATORY class I needed to graduate because they couldn’t find an instructor, and left me scrambling by myself to put the pieces of their shitty error back together. Luckily, I have an amazing academic advisor, and he has more or less helped me sort out this mess. I’m fully anticipating more school chaos to come hurtling my way, because something always goes wrong along the way at this institution.
Anyway, those were the low points of August, but I’m trying to focus more on the high points to be celebrated in my life. I’m genuinely someone who loves learning, so I do look forward to starting new classes every year. Like I said, I am also interested in adding in some new lifestyle changes as well, like exercising again and taking better care of my body. My appearance has been subtly changing as well, and I’m taking on much more of a butch style. I don’t like to say “masculine” because I feel like it implies you’re wearing clothes designed for someone else. Like, I don’t think a woman wearing a suit means she’s wearing clothes designed for men. Maybe a suit to her makes her feel more like a woman, and to me, that’s femininity. I love having short, cropped hair, button-downs, and oversized tailored jackets. It’s not “masucline” to me- it makes me feel womanly. It makes me feel feminine. Same goes for a man who feels confident in a dress- if that makes you feel like a more powerful man, than you ROCK that dress, sir. Clothing, in my opinion, is inherently gender neutral. The beauty of personal style is that you can make it whatever you want.
Anywho, that was a bit of a tangent, but I wanted to update y’all on the direction of my style. I’m super inspired by 90s butch lesbians, like Ellen DeGeneres and of course, k.d. Lang. It’s such a beautiful expression of female energy, in a societal non-traditional way. I love women who push the boundaries of social acceptance, and that’s the kind of woman I’d like to be.
As I mentioned before, getting off my medication has kinda rocked my world and set me back physically/emotionally, but I’m working on hitting the reset button and building something better for myself. I know I deserve happiness and success, but it’s a constant battle and we all have to try our best to love ourselves and practice self care. Don’t ever deprive yourself of self-care, because it is a necessity, not a hobby!
Speaking of self care, I’m going to take a bubble bath and watch Modern Family.
Monday, September 9th
I don’t usually feel homesick while I’m at college. In fact, I was hardly homesick at all my first year- I think I missed home for a day or two, tops. I’ve never been good with change, though I tend to perk up once I fall into a routine. That’s something people seem to forget about folks with ADHD- having consistency and a solid plan can often be pivotal to our moods. That being said, I’m already feeling much better than I was yesterday. I felt almost as if I was moving in a gray glob of fog, and everything was slow and unfamiliar and strange (even though this is my third year going to college, and my last).
I’m also living in the same room as last year, which is nice. It’s large for a standard single, but I didn’t bring much *stuff* with me anyway. I really tried to only pack the things I know I’ll use on a weekly basis- bedding, toiletries, snacks, clothes, and my laptop. Last year I decorated my room to be super cutesy, and brought along things like flower garland and crystals, but this year I kept it simple. The only decor I really brought was my lesbian pride flag, which, ironically, isn’t hung straight. I don’t even have anything to store under my bed, and it feels so good to have a clean, minimal room!
I struggled a bit to fall asleep last night, because I’m used to having a mattress on the floor and feeling close to the ground. I have some new housemates, and they all seem lovely thus far. As an introvert, it shocked me that someone would come to my door, knock, and introduce themselves. I could never!
I’m still feeling a bit sluggish, like it’s taking me twice as long to do things here that would normally be fast at home. Nonetheless, I think I’ll be able to re-adjust quickly. Next on my agenda is to sort out all of that academic tosh my school threw onto my plate last month. Hopefully, my new major and class rank will be registered and complete by the end of the month, and somebody will finally answer my emails. We’ll see!
Wednesday, September 11th
It’s been a turbulent few days, but none of them have been completely good or bad. There is some good news straightaway- my individualized degree is in the process of being finalized, so I no longer have to worry about my graduation date being pushed. The only unexpected change is that I now have to take a micro-economics class, and I’m painfully realistic about the fact that I very well may hate it. I struggle with abstract ideas and numbers, and can only comprehend math up to about a sixth-grade level, according to my neuropsych results. Nonetheless, I’m trying to stay optimistic, and I’m currently working on informing my professors about my learning disabilities.
My anxiety has been coming in waves, but I’m generally externally calm. Part of college is figuring out who you have beef with, and there are definitely a few people who have made it clear they’re not happy I’m back. At this point, though, I know who my good friends are, and those are the people I’m sticking with. My primary goal and my purpose for being here is solely to earn my bachelor’s degree, and then put this chapter of my life behind me.
Another noteworthy update has to do with my recent social commentary article, “Should We Be Worried About Julia Zelg?”. I was expecting heightened traffic, for sure, but I didn’t think it was going to appear so high in the search bar and receive so much attention. I’m sure Julia has read it, and Eileen probably has to. I was nervous that my article would be received as hate, but the general consensus seems to be positive. The people who have expressed anger towards my article are apparently unaware of what a “blog” is- a place where one can freely express their thoughts and opinions, and give my two cents on what I find interesting. “Get a life” isn’t an adequate comeback- covering social issues and writing opinion pieces IS both my life and my work.
Anywho, I just wanted to express my surprise that the article garnered so many clicks, and I’m honestly relieved that other people felt the same way I did (for the most part). Part of my work as a writer is to vocalize opinions and feelings that other people may struggle to put together on their own. Obviously a “gossip” piece or a social commentary essay is trivial, but I also love to expand my voice into advocacy, criticism of bigotry, and generally delivering justice with words.
I’m only three days into school, but the classes I am most excited about are Human Services and Communication Research. The latter has actually garnered a number of groans and complaints from my classmates, but hey, I LOVE that shit. Research and writing, again, is what my life’s all about. I’ve also taken a class with this professor before, and know him to be strict but fair. I’m looking forward to writing my twenty-page research paper at the end of the semester.
Thursday, September 12
I’m a shower thinker. I was reflecting today about the root of attachment and how that can contribute to suffering, so I mused on it for a while and decided I ought to write about it to filter out my mind. It’s going to be long-winded and all over the place, but that’s usually how my thoughts go.
There is a distinct difference between love and attachment, but unfortunately, the media and our environment can cause us to get them confused. Television and music loves to romanticize attachment- especially when it comes to convincing young girls they need a man to be happy. That certainly doesn’t help when you’re already suffering from attachment issues, especially with a father figure, or if you’re a lesbian, struggling to figure out your identity.
A lot of women who eventually come out as lesbians have dated men in their earlier life. I’m one of those people- I first said I was straight, then I was bi, and then, I finally fully accepted my homosexuality. Like I said earlier, attachment can very easily be mistaken for love because of the way we are conditioned to feel. When I was growing up, I felt so ashamed and distraught about being a lesbian, I made a consistent effort to shove that part of my identity away. To fill the void I felt where my father should have been, and because I struggled to feel accepted by a male figure, I quickly became attached to the idea of having a boyfriend as soon as I reached relationship age. If I didn’t have a boy to give me attention, I felt like a worthless girl. I especially struggled with feeling jealous of my friends who did have boyfriends, and constantly felt stressed that I would never be good enough.
I’m not completely blaming my dad or the media, but I do know that with different circumstances, I could have explored my homosexuality much sooner and avoided so much attachment, obsession, and pain. By the time I was in college, I had more or less began to let a little bit of the truth creep in. I allowed myself to open up to women, but still, a part of me felt very attached to men and I was obsessively convinced I needed one to feel complete.
As my romantic and sexual experiences with women blossomed, I was finally able to distinguish the difference between attachment and love. Love has no competition, no jealousy, and no urge for validation. The best way I can describe this revelation is when you THINK you know something is the best, until you experience something even better that replaces what you previously thought. With exploring my homosexuality, I discovered that this was the real, selfless, authentic love I had been searching for, and what I previously had coined as “love” was a coping mechanism for my attachment issues and compulsory hetersexuality. I’m not saying I didn’t think I was in love when I was fourteen, but in retrospect, I can confidently say that what I actually felt was socially-enforced infatuation.
I still sometimes struggle with feelings of jealousy, especially when my friends have partners and I do not, but I am working on letting that anger go. It doesn’t matter the sexual orientation- I simply just get jealous that somebody else is loved, and I am not. This does tie in with the attachment issues I am continuously overcoming, but the more I accept these issues, the more I can separate them from love and acknowledge them as a toxic behaviour.
I was reminded of this today. About six months ago, when I was still trying to hold onto that last bit of “I-like-men” security blanket, I was hooking up with a guy I met on tinder. At least, I was trying to hook up. As I became a lesbian, my BODY was literally rejecting him every time we tried to hook up. It was like my vagina just slammed shut every time he tried to get near me, until finally, I had to own up to him that I was pretty certain I was gay. What’s funny is, I never actually found sex with men that appealing. It was more so something, again, I felt I HAD to do in order to reach some form of self-actualization. Straight sex was something I tried to convince myself I could “learn to like”, but eventually, I just allowed myself (and the guy) to know that I found it kind of painful and nauseating.
He knew it was coming, too. I had been expressing to him for a while that I had always leaned more towards girls than guys, and the older I got, the more I leaned. Even though we got together primarily as friends with benefits, we ended up developing a friendship that went on even after our sexual relationship ended. To this day, he’s one of my best friends.
I was bothered today because I saw him for the first time in a few months. He has a new girlfriend, and like I am with all of my friends, I felt instantly defensive and jealous. There was another added element of attachment, because like I said, I had really used him as a security blanket when I was confused about my sexuality. Even though I’ve come to peace with it now, I still felt uncomfortable with the fact that a person I was once attached to had replaced me. It caused me a lot of distress today, because, in a way, it made me feel like a bad lesbian.
But I’m not. And that’s why I’m writing this article- there is a huge difference between love and attachment. I felt attached to him because he made me feel safe, but I never loved him. And that’s why so many lesbians, including myself, struggle SO MUCH to accept out homosexuality. We are constantly papered with the romanticism of attachment, and the social construct that all women need men to feel complete. I feel like it’s something that isn’t talked about nearly enough, and in turn, it contributes to homosexual people feeling like they have “failed.”
If you’re reading this and you’ve felt a similar way before, I just want to say that you’re not a failure. Human psychology, sociology, and sexuality is such a complex, intertwined cluster of subjects. And it’s high-time we start tackling the expectations put on women in a society so focused on attachment, especially for those trying so desperately to just figure everything the fuck out.
Saturday, September 14th
This has been my first real day of doing “nothing” since I arrived at school last Sunday. Because my weekdays are very checklist oriented (“do this, then do this, then do this”), I allow myself to have NO agenda on Saturdays. I thoroughly enjoyed laying in bed for the majority of the day and playing The Sims. Who here is SO EXCITED about the new Realm of Magic game pack? Because I sure am!
I also had an opportunity to really test out the goodies in my Fab Fit Fun box, which came in the mail yesterday. I have a review of the box scheduled to post for September 23rd, which will give me plenty of time to test out the products and form a fair opinion about them. I’m already loving so many things I received, and I’m looking forward to putting together that article.
Update on PMDD: Like I said, I recently got off Lexapro after being on it for nearly three years. The wonderful thing about SSRIs is that they tend to keep your mood stagnant, and now that I’m not on one, I definitely feel a little chaotic and all over the place. I’m constantly striving to take care of myself and prioritize my health, so I’m actively looking for some new treatment to help me with my returning PMDD symptoms. One thing I might do is get back on Lexapro, and add Wellbutrin to combat the side effects. I would rather try a more natural approach before getting medicated again, so another thing I am considering is CBD oil. Weed has never been my gig, and I’ve never smoked it, but my impression of CBD is that it’s an entirely different thing. I probably will try a multitude of different treatments, and see which one works best for my life and my body. To anyone who is struggling with mental illness or a debilitating disorder, don’t give up! There are people designated to helping you and supporting you on your journey, so never hesitate to reach out to them. I have never regretted for asking for help with my PMDD, and because of that, I know I have these versatile options for managing it. Fellow women with PMDD- what are your stories and self-care methods?
Anyway, tomorrow is going to be a work day. I’m posting this, for one thing, and then I will be chugging through some schoolwork for the rest of the evening. I’ve really enjoyed writing in a diary-style format, and hope to continue sharing my personal experiences of my daily life (though maybe not too many, because I’m pretty sure some faculty members at my college read my blog). Thank you for reading and catching up with me!
Coming up this week:
9/16- What’s in Season in September?
9/18- My Numbers Have Colors: Synesthesia
9/20- Gift Guide: The Perfect BOOK For Everyone on Your List
As a die-hard night owl, it can really difficult for me to feel motivated and driven in the morning. One of the ways I like to wake myself up (and wind myself down at the end of the day) is by writing. Handwriting in a journal is so different than typing on a computer for me. For one thing, handwriting takes more thought and effort, and it simply just feels more private than putting something in a word document on the Internet. I love utilizing my computer to write about pressing non-fiction topics and blog posts, but when it comes to my thoughts, feelings, and emotions, I definitely prefer journaling. Do any of you feel the same way?
I have a couple different types of paper journals I like to write in. The first is a dream journal, which I believe I have mentioned before in my college morning routine. It’s not a place for me to write goals or ambitions- it’s a place where I record the actual dreams I had the night before. Interestingly, I feel like writing down my dreams has actually made me dream more often. I’m not sure if there’s a scientific reason for this or not, but it would make sense to me that focusing on your dreams can make you more self-aware of them. Having a dream journal gives me something to look forward to in the morning, and exercising my mind first thing really helps me to wake up and feel productive from the get-go.
I also have a more generalized journal, where I just record page-long entries about my emotions, experiences, or really just whatever is going on in my life at the time. I used to pressure myself to write an entry every day, but I realized pretty quickly that it’s not possible for me to have something interesting to say every day. It can also make journaling feel like a chore, which is the opposite of the point! Journaling should make you feel relaxed, happy, and willing to be open with yourself.
Oddly, I’m not interested in re-reading my journal entries. In fact, I don’t think I ever have; I think deeply, I write my feelings, and then I literally close that chapter forever. It’s also partly because I’m embarrassed to re-read things I’ve thought and said in the past, because I am constantly driven to be a better version of myself and re-write the way I was before. Maybe someday when I’m much older I’ll decide to look back and read them, but today, it just doesn’t feel like the right time.
Even if you don’t feel like there’s anything exciting going on in your life, it can still be beneficial to record your thoughts. You might discover something about yourself that you didn’t know was there before, or uncover an emotional issue you were bottling up without realizing it. Maybe you don’t even think of yourself as a writer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a story that deserves to be told.
Coming up next: Spirit Quartz: Ethereal Feminine Energy