I am back after a nice, long break. I hope that you been doing well. Current mood: drinking a nice cab suav and listening to Lana del Rey. Bare with me….it’s unfortunately gone straight to my head hah.
As I sit here on a lazy Saturday night, I am left reflecting on the current state of affairs both in my personal life and in the context of the nation in which I live. I’ve yet to understand the wonder of the new year. Maybe it’s due to the fact that not much has changed. A change in regime doesn’t lead to sudden, magnificent change. In the same breath, the ringing in of a new calendar year does not promise the same.
I know that it’s late to address the new calendar year, but if you haven’t noticed a trend around here I like to get distance in order to reflect. I am not one to jump quickly to conclusions or decisions. I digress, but I think the point of this post is to question what the hell I’m actually doing with my life. It may be the wine or the melancholy of my queen Lana’s voice, but it’s two months into the new year and I have yet to feel that spark that seems to hit some individuals. I personally hate new year’s resolutions, but I can’t help but subconsciously make them. Unfortunately, I’ve set myself up for failure yet again.
I have such an intense fear of failure that I am constantly neglecting things that need to be done or perpetually postponing them. I spoke to a friend the other day about my present discouragement. She gave me some sound advice. She told me that “You can only work with what you have right now. You can’t make decisions for the future because you don’t have that moment and the knowledge/ circumstances that may accompany it. You can only make decisions for this present moment because that’s all you have. A series of moments.” (BTW thank you love). It was freeing. I guess that I just wanted to share. Instead of being shackled to your past and crippled by your future, I encourage you look a your life as a series of these small moments where you are completely in control. Do not let hypotheticals dictate your everything.
I am determined to avoid the same mistakes and traps that I consistently find myself in. You can’t be trapped while living in the moment. So yes it is a new year, I hope that it’s a new America, and every moment breeds a new me. I’ve grown just by existing. I know one more thing that I knew a moment ago. I have more knowledge that I once did. It gives me a sense of peace. I feel more empowered to tackle small changes in my life. For instance, I cooked for the first time in a really long time. I love cooking, but it takes so much mental energy that I do not have most days. I had to challenge myself to break the task into a series of moments. Making the decision to fill the pot, making the decision to heat the stove, and so on and so forth.
I hope that this helps even one person out there. I also hope that this was coherent. I’m vibing too much to do a re-read haha.
I wanted to talk to you all about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Singleness and its implications in the world of online dating.
Online dating has created a strange culture surrounding dating and relationships. We’ve formed a very transactional view regarding our connections with others. This has led to a number of cultural phenomenons such as the slow fade, ghosting, and even gaslighting (Side note: it’s an excellent movie. I encourage you to check it out. Ingrid Bergman is phenomenal). One thing that the tangled web of online dating has shown is that we crave genuine human connection, but many of us are afraid of the implications. We have created a world in which relationships can be formed and broken by matching and just disappearing. We’ve learned not to value human connection and yet we crave it. How may times must me encounter a just casual to come to this realization? What even is a just casual? What is the point of having a relationship without the commitment or the emotional engagement? At the end of the day, no one wants to be alone and online dating has given individuals a way of taking numerous short-cuts to having someone. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to find genuine connection, but it is certainly quite difficult particularly in certain age groups. I’m also not judging anyone for taking this route. It’s just not necessarily for me. All of this has come to light in the midst of me forming what many would lovingly call a “situationship”.
Unlike most situationships, mine lacks all physicality, but it involves a lot of emotional intimacy. I find myself in a friendship with the emotional intimacy typically associated with a romantic relationship. To start, yes I did meet this individual on a dating app. I’m not even sure how we matched to be honest. He told his sister that it’s due to the fact that I didn’t see how short he is…he’s probably right. Sue me! What started as casual conversation slowly turned into daily calls for hours. Suddenly, something clicked in me. Perhaps it’s the avoidant in me, but as the emotional intimacy grew I found myself pushing him away. Not necessarily as a friend, but as a potential romantic interest. I hate the word “friend zone”, but it’s exactly what I’ve done. I must admit that I do have feelings for him, but as soon as I was faced with the prospect of true intimacy I turned away from it– potentially robbing myself of something that could be good for me. I’m waiting in vain for us to reach that dreaded impasse where we must confront the obvious mess that we’ve created. I’m not certain how I’ve found myself in this position yet again. It seems to be becoming a trend. Perhaps, I’m the secondary component of casual. There’s the individual with which someone might share physical intimacy and there’s another individual with which they share emotional intimacy. It is easy for romantic relationships to dissipate especially since there is always another option that is just a swipe away. I suppose that some part of myself can acknowledge that I find solace in not having to lose the potential emotional intimacy that comes with the dissolving of a romantic relationship. I’m beginning to question whether or not my current perspective is the symptom of the disease or a cause of it. Perhaps, deep down we’ve all come to fear vulnerability and the fear of loss that can come with it. We’ve created a world in which we never have to feel it. In the age of connectedness, we’re more hidden than ever before.
In all honesty, there are only three things that you should be giving yourself this year. I’ve seen a lot of fashion bloggers out there attempting to shill what I like to call “pre-pandemic wear” AKA things that do not involve elastic. Let’s be honest though…those have no place in our lives at the present moment.
In honor of realism, I’d like to share with you the three things to add to your holiday wishlist and no, they are not from Nordstrom lol.
Sweatpants (less than $25; on average about $10 for most colors): I shamelessly own them in every color. I always buy means sweatpants because I’m tall, but for some reason they also just feel more comfy. The only downside is that they lack pockets, so no storage place for your tater tots Napoleon. Believe it or not…they perform the same function as those $50 dollar ones that you see everywhere 👀
Sweatshirts (less than $20; on average about $15 for most colors): I also own these sweatshirts in many colors. Comfort Colors sweatshirt are notoriously comfortable and these do not fail to disappoint.
Socks (less than $20 for a pack of five; some color ways are cheaper): I own these as well. They are so freaking warm. They are the perfect socks for the cold snap that we’ve been enduring at the present moment.
I wanted to share with you one of the important lessons that I learned from therapy…the importance of discomfort. I think it goes hand in hand with the heaping dose of patience that therapy teaches you.
Discomfort is necessary for change to happen. This fact of life has yet to fail me. Whether it be a waistband that’s too tight or a relationship that doesn’t feel quit right, discomfort holds a mirror to your current situation and gives you the insight that leads you to change. When we ignore what our inner voice is telling us, we not only allow ourselves to be trapped in unsavory situations but we also limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. The next time that you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation lean into it. Listen to what the frame of mind is telling you. Oftentimes, we limit ourselves by failing to acknowledge the truth that is right in front of us.
One of the things that I am working on in therapy is my fear of failure. Unfortunately, by some cruel twist fate you cannot work through lifelong issues without failing every now and then. This is probably one of the most frustrating things about consciously working on yourself. There is no such thing as being perfect. There is only better and sometimes better is “worse” than where you started. It’s the non-linear pathway that growth often takes. Growth, the albatross that it is, breeds an immense amount of discomfort. For every step forward, there is a potential for a backslide that will leave you reeling. In conclusion, there is no growth without discomfort.
I hope you all find peace and enlightenment in your discomfort.
I don’t know about y’all, but this holiday season has been ROUGH. Nothing about it seems to make sense. On this rainy Sunday afternoon as I cuddle up with Wentworth, I’ve begun what has become my favorite holiday tradition. A form of self-care amidst the craziness of holiday season. Thankfully this tradition is very much doable and perhaps needed in the times in which we are living. The one tradition that I’ve decided to carry on this year is my mid- December gratitude list.
Unlike most people, I like to postpone my Thanksgiving meditations until after the holiday has passed. There are several reasons why I do this. After a few years, the gratitude starts to all sound the same. Another reason why I postpone it, is due fact that we immediately roll from the season of Thanksgiving into the season of abundant consumerism. That fact has always seemed incredibly ironic to me. In order to combat this sudden paradigm shift that we undergo each and every year, I started the tradition of saving my gratitude for December — in the midst of endless Christmas lists, the feeling of not having enough, or not doing enough. This always grounds and me positions me to start the new year off without feeling as if I am lacking.
I encourage you to actually take time to do this. Take a break from the stress, the endless new cycles, and the Monday scaries. Truly take the time to compose this list and pin it somewhere where you will see it. This can carry you through and can serve as a nice reminder as you make your new year’s list, if you make one at all.
The two thing that I am most grateful for this year are time and love. Time has been one of my greatest gifts. It has given me the space to grieve, lent me moments of deep reflection, and blessed me with my last moments with my mother. Love has given me strength. Amidst this season of uncertainty and loss, I have learned to never underestimate the power of love. To my friends, I love you dearly. More than you will ever know. Thank you for bringing light to my darkness and joy to my sorrow. I am grateful for each and every one of you. Being loved by you is one of the most beautiful gifts that I have ever been given.
That’s all folks! I hope that you have a happy Monday and that you take some time to show yourself some love.
After taking a much needed break from the blog to decompress, I decided to hop on and write a quick lighthearted post to potentially brighten your day during these very tense times.
First of all, take a deep breath. We will all be okay.
Bacon. Forgive me, the grammar, but it gets the point across. Bacon: it’s so damn good for me. It’s my little treat. The crunch, the hint of saltiness, the guilty grease, it’s so damn good for me. It challenges me to savor each bite. It pulls me from my vacuousness. It rouses me from my proverbial sleep. Bacon, when savored properly, allows for one to understand that too much of one sense can be a bad thing. That balance is key to an enlivened experience. That we all have those mornings where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed or rather election race haha. Umami, the dream, a bite with equality of senses. An overwhelming sense of peace.
We are a nation of people and we must remember this as we move forward. Regardless of the outcome, remember that bacon is good for you. Go with love my friends.
Hey y’all! I just wanted to hop on here to give a quick PPE recommendation. I happened upon Caraa Sports’ line of PPE after a long search to find reusable masks that did not irritate my skin and were breathable. After reading over 1,000 5-star reviews regarding the products, I ended up ordering a pair of their universal masks in the assorted marine colors . I am officially obsessed. The colors are even more beautiful in person and they are so easy to breath in. Caraa Sports’ masks might truly be the best out there.
A pack of 5 masks costs $25 and every mask purchase is matched with a donation to relief efforts. That is another reason why I wanted to share these with you. Your small purchase has the ability to help others by not only keeping your immediate community safe, but by also helping out first responders. I encourage you to check them out.
As I sit here writing this blogpost, my next door neighbor is banging away on his newly acquired drum set. While I appreciate the joie de vivre, I do wish he’d work through his midlife crises in a more introspective manner or at the very least substitute his drum set for one of these. I kid, BUT I will be adding some noise cancelling headphones to my holiday wishlist lol. Everyone deserves their little piece of escape.
Speaking of escape, I never knew that staycations would one day become the norm. I mean I don’t think anything, apart from The Simpsons, could have predicted the kind of year we are having. We live at home, we work at home, and are somehow expected to find our escape in our homes. It’s a lot for any person to manage. (Side note: I’m particularly impressed by the parents that are toeing this difficult balance.) In an effort to help you with your much deserved staycations, I wanted to share some things that I’ve been doing and tools that I’ve utilized to give myself those little moments of mental reprieve.
Reading: Reading truly is the ultimate escape. Even before quarantine, I found solace in the way in which words can weave wondrous worlds for us to wander in. (I couldn’t help myself with the alliteration lol). I’ll try to get some posts together regarding my quarantine readings.
Decorating: Decorating is truly an underrated art. I’ve always taken quite a spartan approach to my living arrangements. If I had what I needed, then I was utterly grateful. However, spending so much time at home has really illuminated the importance of personalizing your space. I’ll do more posts regarding in depth tips for decorating , but I did want to mention three things that really have helped me
fairy lights– I’ve purchased multiple sets of the lights linked here. They add such a soft glow of gloomy nights when you don’t want the harshness of overhead light. They are an excellent way to create a space to escape. I personally love the “romantic” feel that they add to any space.
Japanese screens– Japanese screens or room dividers in general have been an essential part of my quarantine experience. While they are a little on the steep side, they are still much less expensive than paying rent for a larger place to live! I’ve utilized room dividers to assist with creating physical barriers in my small space that assist me with mentally dividing my now complex relationship with my living space.
Bedding– Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always invested in decent bedding. However, I never appreciated it until quarantine. While this may not be the best habit and perhaps counterproductive to the whole division of space trend, I find myself using my bed ask my main work space some days. To be honest, sometimes I have to muster a lot of energy to work and I can’t manage to both work and get out of bed. When I commuted into the office, I had an external pressure to be “ON”. Now, Wentworth is my only co-worker. Although he is a somewhat shady boy, the pressure to be fully present doesn’t feel the same. Instead of punishing myself for not being able to get out of bed some days, I decided to invest in myself and create a space that I could feel both comforted and productive.
“Me-Do” List: This one may be self-explanatory, but I find that I create to-do lists for everything. I always have discouragingly long to-do lists pertaining to my job and my life responsibilities, BUT I don’t…well didn’t have one for the things that actually feed my soul. That’s why I started making “Me-Do” lists. Forgive the grammar, but I was feeling cutesy haha. On my weekly “Me-Do” list, I put down things that I enjoy doing that have no end goal or objective apart from bringing me peace and/or joy. I don’t have to do everything on that list, but I challenge myself to at least do one of the things on my list at some point during the week. When I’m feeling more ambitious, I challenge myself to do one thing from the list each day. The nice thing about “Me-Do” lists is that there isn’t a right or wrong way to utilize them. Some weeks, I do the same “Me-Do” every single day. Other weeks, I fit in a quick one on Sunday just to say I did it. Below are some examples of “Me-Dos”
Painting(I have this exact set. I absolutely love it)
reading one book chapter
cooking a nice meal
lighting some candles( these are some of my favorite candles. convenient and great burn time)
You get the gist of it. Your list should be reflective of all of the things that you put to the side in favor of things that you have to do.
Well that’s all from me. I hope that this post was somewhat helpful. I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments if you have any book recommendations or suggestions for feeding your soul.