Monday, September 24, 2018

Some things I'm loving & not loving as much right now

   Hi, hello, long time no see friends. I'm not going to offer you excuses if you're a regular here. Life happens, we move with it. Welcome back, let's see how consistent we can be this time! Today I wanted to talk to you just about some things I'm loving & some things I'm not loving. I love that we all go through phases and sometimes things are more important to us than not at just different times. It's reassuring to have change.
   I'll start with things I'm not loving right now so that we end on a positive note. I should mention that I say right now because it just means that who I am right now, these aren't my favorite things. But not that tomorrow or the next day they could be again. Don't roast me, okay thanks.

The Beauty Community on YouTube

   Um, one of my most guilty pleasures is watching endless makeup reviews on youtube and following some gurus and keeping up with the products they review and also release. It was definitely a de-stresser at the end of the day for me. However, it's such an ugly place right now. If you're not familiar with any of it and want to waste a few brain cells because it really is so ugly, here. Anyway, I haven't watched a good make up review in awhile or subscribed to anyone new because honestly.. nobody is doing it for me. I hate the "cancelled" culture of the internet and the cyber bullying we deem appropriate when we want to 'cancel' someone for god forbid changing from the person they were 5, 6, 7 years ago while also preaching kindness and anti-bullying every other day of the week. And I only mean in the extreme way of this specific instance where people have been shunned so much to disappear for the internet for over a month after being a regularly uploading Youtuber for 3-4 years. Wow, I didn't realize I was so passionate about this, haha.

Sleep

   It's ironic that I'm saying sleep is something I don't enjoy right now when I have a whole other post dedicated to how important sleep is to me and my wellbeing but that is the exact point. I know I need therapy because of the dreams, or should I say nightmares, I've been having recently. They're always so random and involve people who are extremely close to me or people I haven't talked to in ages. No in betweens. I woke up with actual tears coming out of my face just yesterday because I had a dream about a friend's sister dying. I've never even met the sister??? I always try to think out why my brain is acting up on me but I can't pinpoint it in this era because I'm not unusually stressed or in an unreasonably bad state of mind. Life's pretty okay right now. I just want to be able to nap in peace. If you have any good therapists, hit your girl up haha.

Negative political conversation

   I was hesitant to even point this out because it's weird & who really wants to read about politics on this blog, but hear me out. I don't really care to talk about politics with people about how harsh the world is right now in the state of politics or even really care to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with me. I know that it's important to have conversations and maybe a shed a different view on different subjects. I know that's an important aspect of change and that obviously, I don't know everything in the world. But, I just don't want it right now. I don't follow Trump on twitter because I don't really care what he has to stay about anything. I know he's not my cup of tea and that's all I need to know. So when people want to discourse with me about what the celebrity in chief has to say, it's currently one of my most disliked things. I have had a hard year of trying to weed out negativity and this is one I'm continuously working on.


Now, welcome to what's been making me happy recently:

                                           Positive political conversation

   On the other hand, I am TOTALLY down to have a conversation with you about some good things in the life of politics. I'd rather spend my time talking about the candidates that are trying to make change. Like, let's talk about the Beto O'Rourke rally my friends and I went to recently where I got sunburnt but left so happy to hear the things he had to say. Let's talk about the people who are getting you excited. Let's talk about how we're all going to vote in November. I need that kind of positivity in my life.

Netflix originals

   For awhile it felt like Netflix was pumping out garbage for originals in a much quantity over quality kind of way. We went from anticipating a few releases we were excited about to so much content it would have been impossible to keep up with and my fate was a little lost. However, 8 out of the last 15 movies I wanted were Netflix originals that I absolutely loved. Sometimes I forget how much of a sucker for love I am but the influx of romcoms that have been thrown at me recently have overtaken my heart (I sobbed the first go round on Alex Strangelove and I've seen To All The Boys at least 5 times so far.) And then there is the few that are different and so entertaining like The After Party that gives me so many cameos and good music and Set It Up which hides itself as a romcom but really is such a empowering story of feminism with love thrown in. I'm excited to be excited for Netflix again.

Love & Relationship Podcasts

   I'm not the one normally for love and relationship podcasts. My favorites are regular popular culture discussions or something completely random like an expose on a subject I know nothing about (insert joke about love being something I know nothing about). Recently, my two favorite podcasts I've been listening to are just that. Couple of Issues is a podcast by 1/2 of the Carly & Erin duo on youtube - Carly, and her boyfriend, songwriter & music producer, Bruce. The two met on tinder two years ago and they talk about different parts of their relationship along with reading emails people send them and giving advice. I've grown to enjoy it so much because they seem to have a pretty healthy relationship and they have a lot of antidote stories to go off of for the advice people ask them for. The second podcast is Secret Keepers' Club with Carly Aquilino & Emma Willmann. It's a bit more unfiltered and raw advice on love, relationship, and friendships. What made me a subscriber was the great chemistry these two comedians have while also being so heartfelt about helping people plus they both have a lot of experience since they are just a bit older than myself.

Thanks for reading and if you have any suggestions to what I should dive into on youtube now that beauty people have betrayed me or another love & relationship podcast I should listen to, please comment below :)

CHECK OUT KENDYL'S LIST OF THINGS SHE LOVES & DOESN'T AS WELL THX!
 


Sunday, July 8, 2018

the time i got four tickets.

This week's challenge: a story from high school.

   It was the summer before my junior year of high school. Fourth of July specifically. I don't remember who exactly - but I believe it was a friend's sister who was getting married that night. If you're that friend, or that sister reading, then hi - your wedding night was the night I got four tickets.

   In typical fashion, there was always a plan. My friends did a lot of drugs, drank a lot of alcohol, but they were punctual about it. We always knew what we were doing, where we were doing it at, and where we would end the night at. I'm going to skip the super logistics of this night so this post doesn't get even longer than it is but that night my older friend was going to lend me & my friends her car for the night so that she could go out to the bar and have a designated driver to come get her and so that we could have a car to drive around town on our evening. I was 16, I didn't have a license but none of my friends did either. I was in the middle of driving school with my best friend so I at least had a permit. I drove for a very long time in high school without getting a license but I was getting it together that summer. However, I was always the extra responsible one of my friend group. Please don't mistake my words for anything negative about my friends. It's just how we worked. They did all the ~things~ on the regular, and I was always there in case anything went wrong and on the nights that I did want to do ~things~ there was always someone there also who wouldn't do the ~things~ to make sure I was okay. We were a beautiful group of idiots, and I loved them all so much.

   So this night, I was going out with my gals and token guy friend. We went to said wedding, hung out but ended up deciding we'd rather be at someone's house hanging out, watching fireworks pop up around the city since it was the fourth and all. We decided to leave. It was raining that night and we were about 3 blocks away from our destination when police lights began to go off behind me. It couldn't be for me because I was the most safe driver since I was paranoid about not having a license. However, as we continued on down the road, my friends began to point out that those lights were in fact - for me. Panicked to my core, I pulled over conveniently right by my high school's soccer fields. It was a lady cop who shined her lights in all the windows before making her way to mine. She was already suspicious but she told me firstly why she pulled me over: the back tail light on my friend's car was out.

   Although we were sitting outside with this cop and eventually another cop she called to help her issue tickets to five people for around 3 hours, most of it feels like a blur now. I remember telling her straight up that I didn't have a license. I figured I was already going to be in a mess so might as well be honest about it. I remember her telling us to all call our parents and me hearing my friends break the news to their parents that they were on the side of the road getting a ticket for being out past curfew when most of their parents thought we were at the wedding. One of my friends specifically had snuck out of his house because he was on probation already and so his mom was EXTRA angry when she found out he wasn't in his room. And lastly, one of my friends' parents wouldn't answer and the police said she would be put in juvenile detention overnight if they didn't eventually pick up. I stood with that friend in the pouring rain while she cried her eyes out in fear, and me casually side eyeing the car and hoping they didn't search it and find the handle of alcohol underneath the seat. To both of our advantage, they didn't search the car and they let her be released to someone else's parents.

   At the time of this, I took my ticket and got in the car with my mom and immediately let out all the tears I'd been holding in. I expected her to yell at me, tell me how much I had just messed up. But instead she said "why are you crying?" WHY WAS I CRYING?  I was 16 and in my hand I held four tickets. I had no clue what I had just done but it seemed scary. Why wasn't she mad? There are a few times in my life, probably anyone's life where something your parent says sticks with you forever. Mine was this night. She told me that she wasn't mad, because she knew I was mad enough at myself. She also said that I knew what I was doing when I decided to drive illegally and that I take that risk living the life I want to live and at the end of the day it was going to be me cleaning up my mess or messing up my life, not her. She told me I was old enough to make my own decisions and I better start owning up to them. I don't know if the how to parenting books would deem this the right thing to say in this moment. I still think she should have yelled at me a little bit. But it's what I needed to hear in that moment.

   I'll tell you this. I've told this story many times before because now, it's funny & interesting and doesn't align with the personality the people who know me now know. However, looking back on it personally after almost a decade (almost is key), I really think that this was a turning point for the trajectory of my life. I was petrified that the only dream I really had - moving out of my hometown, was going to be compromised because of this stupid, stupid event. I remember constantly thinking no college would want me despite my grades or extra curricular activities if I have a criminal record at such a young age. At least not a good one. I remembered being terrified that I had left my guard down and I was on the brink of becoming like so many people around me despite the potential I knew I had. I had spent the last year rebuilding my life after crumbling so much of it at such a young age with other things that maybe I was really just destined to be stuck in this place forever. It was my unintentional wake up call to work both harder and smarter.

   I went to court and stood up in front of all the other people in Wichita Falls who've been given tickets the night of the Fourth when the judge read my four offenses - driving without a license, out past the city's curfew since I was a minor, driving a car with a broken taillight, and driving a car I wasn't insured under since it wasn't my car. All my friend's parents stood in the same room and I felt their judging eyes on me since it very much looked like I was the bad seed in the group but that was the farthest from the truth.

   The next year would be spent going to teen court (a saga that deserves its own post) and procrastinating my community service hours until the last minute where my "warden" aka case supervisor directly told me I better figure out a way to finish my hours before she'd send me back to court despite the year of work I'd already put into this. I would spend my junior year of high school going to teen courts every other Wednesday, and using my days off from work to figure out a way to get community service hours done.

   This year of my life dealing with this is directly why I am too lazy to break most of the laws anymore. I hated having this one night haunt me for the next year while I fixed it in many different ways. I had to stand in the freezing cold and sell Christmas trees in the winter to get the hours I needed. Eventually, once I was thru with everything, it was expunged from my record and I was clean. I'd never been more happy to be finished with something.




Sunday, July 1, 2018

That party last night was awfully crazy, I wish we taped it.

   To gain some consistently in the regular posting game, my fellow blogger Kendyl and I made a blog challenge to help us stay on track. Writing isn't the hard part. My sadness succumbs easier to this keyboard than it ever does to people. My happiness knows no bounds with a pen in my hand. That sounds pretentious but it's just how I feel. I've written endless paragraphs about the people who I've loved or vice versa, the ups & downs we all face but with our own twists and turns but posting on a public domain about people who it probably wouldn't be too hard to figure out who it's about is the TEA. And that's not what I ever wanted this to be. I have a journal for that mess. Maybe I think too many people would care about who my post is about when actually no one would put that much work in. I DON'T KNOW, but why risk it? I'll save that shit for my memoir. Or I'll save it until someone pisses me off enough. 

   For the first post in this challenge, I want to tell you about my favorite college party. I'm going to start this with tooting the corefour's (myself, Manolo, Stacy and Kendyl if you are new here) horn. We threw the best parties during our college years. Themed and unthemed, we took the cake.  

   My junior year of college will probably always be my most memorable. I was living with 3 of my best friends in a stupidly expensive townhouse-esque student living that we loved. We were all working service jobs, active in our student organization that had brought us together,  and living that ~college~ dream they always talk about of just work, school and partying. There was a lot of nonsensical drama around that time that if you asked me about now, I would only be able to give you a hazy description of what we thought  mattered back then that in reality never mattered at all. The one thing good we did get out of that was each other however. It's ugly, but sometimes mutually hating something/someone brings people closer; I don't make the rules!

   Anyway, the party. For weeks, Manolo was working on getting his citizenship to become a full fledged American. Anyone who knows of this process knows how expensive and tedious it is for someone who has literally lived here their entire life, but this isn't a political post. He finally was sworn in as an American so OF COURSE, we took the opportunity to celebrate such a moment in our best friend's life. It was March, but it looked like the Fourth of July when you walked into the American themed party we were throwing in our townhouse. 
   Everything was red, white, and blue down to the trashcan punch & my socks. At one point, Party in the USA played by Miley Cyrus and I can tell you I won't forget the sound of a house packed with too many underage drunk people singing their heart out. This party was my favorite because it was just different, which isn't a good explanation. I have plenty other parties I can tell you about where I woke up the next morning regretting something I did or said or didn't do or say. I don't about this one. I celebrated my friend, I had enough to drink but didn't hate myself the next morning. Somehow we were never stressed about the money we put into throwing these parties and that itself is a freedom you eventually let go of when you grow up. We had bitchin' pictures and no drama. Wait that's a lie. Someone rando who showed up did punch our friend in the face but she was in such a good space herself that she literally didn't care. She opted out of sympathy for more shots. You just can't repeat moments like this. 
   Since it would be no good to just have a PLAIN old happy story, I'll leave you with a more funny and bad party for me personally. We threw a new years eve party at our townhouse this same year with a masquerade theme because we were extra before extra was normal. Everyone was in cute dresses and suits and Stacy gave me some wine at the beginning of the night that I continued to down and since I came from the hood, I'd never been wine drunk before. I don't remember much else of the night but I know that I stole Maggie's shoes that night and wouldn't give them back. Dani & Stacy gave me a shot of water at midnight and LIED to drunk Rubi's face about it being alcohol. And there was a lot of pictures to document the mess I was but these below are some more acceptable ones.
   I woke up the next morning with the second worst (the first worst hangover I've ever had was my 24th birthday... baby, that's a story for another day) hangover of my life so far and because I was a dedicated Talon and UNT was playing in a Bowl game on New Year's Day, I had to get my hungover ass up and together to go watch the game in Dallas. I puked my brains out in the car on the way there in a bag while my little at the time drove myself and Manolo there (Thanks Paulina). I stood by other screaming Talons cheering and wanted to stab myself in the head but somehow made it thru and got to watch UNT win a Bowl game and have a beautiful moment. UNT hasn't been that good at football in awhile and I was so glad to be apart of that moment even if my body hated me that day. 
   I'm sure down the line I'll tell you more about these memories because there were so many great ones. And a lot of documentation of each of them. Continuing this blog challenge, I'll be posting EVERY Sunday for the next 10 weeks. Hold me to it!! 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

a life update & 13RW review

   It's been about 3 months since my last post which feels like ages ago. I've rewritten this a couple of times because I don't know how to quite convey the way my life has felt the past few months. I'm not a person that is perpetually sad or happy, or perpetually any one feeling most of the time. I take it all in. The beginning of 2018 had me taking a lot of L's. Due to my own circumstances, I let my heart get a little more bruised than it was before (lol what is new). Due to other circumstances, I felt more conflicted in my career than I ever have before. I was too busy to deal with a lot of the moving parts. But eventually you catch up with yourself and things become less important and you get back to a good place and remember what is important, like this blog!
   For a quicker recap of my life, I got promoted and started a new position in a different location than where I've been for the past five years. I strengthened some relationships and weakened a few for my own good. I'm learning new things each day as I become the both literal and physical boss I want to be. I figured that my return to the blog life should be a review of season 2 of 13 Reasons Why because the first season review I did is my second most viewed post of all time.


~Here is my disclaimer for any and all 13RW talks I get into~

The show doesn't claim to be something it's not. It tells you upfront what you're getting into and it tells you many different ways to enjoy the show that is the most safe for your personal well being. From watching the entirety of the show, my psychology degree (lol) , and my own personal experiences with mental health, I don't think it romanticizes suicide or any of that jazz. I think it tells a story that is hard to hear sometimes, but also it's a story you have a choice to listen to. Not your cup of tea? Cool, don't watch. Don't think you could handle the topics discussed? Props to you for putting your mental health first. Also, this is obviously going to contain spoilers, don't act brand new. Okay let's begin.




The good

   I'll be 100 with you.. I didn't need a second season. The story in my eyes didn't need to continue because at face value it was meant to be one girl's story and you were supposed to be left with the lingering feeling of what happens to these people now and how you go on after tragedy and to me that was the point. But I'll give it to em that they found a plot that made sense and transitioned well and I ~love~ court case scenes. 
   Zach Dempsey was the shining star of the season for me. I loved that he had such a big role in this season from how he was an ally for Alex, an antagonist for Bryce and exposer of truths. Most importantly however, we saw a beautiful depiction of young romance with him and Hannah. You felt so much pain seeing their happiness unfold that summer where they learn to love sex together and find solace in their pain in each other's company knowing how the conclusion of that story ends. While this wasn't a plotline in the original story, I completely believed it. When Hannah talks about Zach in the first season, she mentions his loneliness and that he has other issues he isn't addressing and this story coincides. He mentions later to Clay that Hannah didn't put everything on the tapes when Clay doesn't believe his story and that resonated with me so much. It's easy to take the tapes and try to condense these stories to her, but in actuality we are people made of so many stories more than the highlights we share. 
   Jessica was the perfect victim.. survivor? Victim sounds weak but she wasn't. Throughout the season, we saw her progress from very bruised to a boss ass bitch in the end. She had a healthy progression of coping and I loved that when Chloe didn't testify with integrity, she wasn't mad. She understood that everyone has their own story to tell at the right time and it wasn't Chloe's time. Jessica couldn't kiss Alex at the start of the season without pulling away in fear, but the ending of the season she's having sex in a locker room. It's a nice note to other victims/survivors that your sexual drive doesn't have to die with your encounter, it gets better. Also, can we give the biggest shout out to the scene in the court room of all the different women on the show giving their stories? Ugh, beautiful television.
   I sloppy sobbed during Mr. Porter's testimonial. In my season one review, I talked about how I thought Mr. Porter wasn't a bad person but just who we would deem a good teacher when you think about the ethics involved. I loved his redemption when he sits on trial and acknowledges that he knows he could have done more. And especially when he looks into Mrs. Baker's eyes and tells her he is sorry for not doing more. 


The bad

   The girl that comes from Hannah's past school to testify about Hannah and her friends bullying her is a plotline I didn't need. It felt incredibly forced to bring a subject like this to the table, and seemed to really only serve a purpose in evening out the playing field in the trial. While I believe that you can be a bully and be bullied because that makes perfect sense, the testimony of this girl just didn't make sense with the overall story. 
   I wish that Clay's relationship with Skye wasn't so.. blatant. It seemed very cliche for Clay to be this masochist that falls for another girl with such troubling mental health issues and to have him overcompensate over and over again to be what she needs at different points. I understand the premise - he couldn't save Hannah, but maybe he can save Skye. However, I think we could have saved this drama and instead adding something about Clay's own mental health because let's be real.. homeboy has some issues.
   Also, in general, they make Clay look like he's lost so many of his marbles. I loved/hated the scene where he goes to Bryce's house with a gun because ghost Hannah reciting that specific part of the tape where she's raped while the chaos ensues around them all is SO poetic, but Clay hearing that is definitely his unconscious making up what he thinks Hannah wants. We know that Hannah wouldn't want Clay to go MURDER someone, but Clay's unstable mind thinks that is what Hannah wants from what he's left with. I hated it because I don't wish this instability on Clay's character. I loved it because it made me think about the missing pieces when someone's gone and how we have to fill in the blanks which in turn lead us to making biased perceptions. It made me think. 


The ugly

   There are a few scenes in my life from movies or tv that I will be 100% okay with never seeing again and one of those is Tyler's bathroom scene in the finale. It's the kind of unkind ugly that is almost too cruel to bare putting yourself thru. In the first season, I mentioned that they made the rape scene stay on Hannah's face just long enough to make you uncomfortable but this scene didn't make me uncomfortable, it made me sick. It was an almost too perfect precursor to the anxiety I would feel watching the rest of the episode on the edge of my seat wondering Tyler's next move. 
   I am almost happy with the unhappy ending to Bryce's trial. He only gets 3 months probation for his actions. It felt real. There are too many instances of rape cases where the person gets off with a slap on the wrist despite clear evidence. The point was to upset you with the reality. Reality is ugly. 
   When the season wraps, we learned that Chloe is pregnant. It's such an ugly situation to know she is pregnant by someone who raped her but also that person is her boyfriend. I don't think we see depictions of this enough where the rapist is someone that you know.. you love. Or at least you think you do until you're faced with the truth. It confuses things so much. We always hear that rapists are usually always someone you know but tv doesn't show that enough because there aren't clear answers on how to handle that. It left me with another sick feeling in my stomach. 


I limited myself to around 3 points for each because I was already making this too long to keep your attention. I'll leave you with my favorite quote from this season: 
"No matter how many reasons there might be why, there are always more why not."


If you or someone you know is struggling, visit 
13reasonswhy.info for amazing resources like a crisis text line or hotline. It gets better. 






















































Thursday, March 1, 2018

We love a well rested queen

Sleep was always scary as a kid. I hated the dark. I lived in an old house with a lot of people so hearing things in the night was all too common. When I was in elementary school, I was convinced that my dead uncle's ghost roamed the house at night. Not necessarily in a scary way, but the lingering feeling I always had would keep me up at night. I can remember my grandma teaching me about counting sheep, but more than that I can remember her telling me the prayer to repeat on nights when I couldn't. Not as often as a kid, but I've used it a couple times as an adult on abnormally bad nights.

Once I was in high school and had my own bed and privacy, I couldn't help but think there was something wrong with the girl who slept better on a couch than she ever did in her bed. I didn't feel like I knew how to get comfortable in a situation I hadn't had until now. I don't remember a lot of sleep in high school.

When I came to college. my dorm roommate loved sleep. It helped me that she loved sleep more during the day and loved being up all night because I related. Going to sleep when the sun was coming up and waking up when the sun was going down is a memory me and Manolo laugh about now for it being such a prime example of freshmen freedom and the straight disregard for so many other responsibilities.
As I progressed in college, my roommates later during this period (the corefour specifically) can recall finding me asleep at my desk, or sitting up in my bed. Rarely in bed, underneath the covers like a normal person. I had a job that would have in times as early as 5:30am and a social life that was beaming. Sleep wasn't a priority. Bon Jovi told me I'll sleep when I'm dead so I listened.

So what's the point of all this? I don't have a normal sleep schedule - I'm sure any 20-something year old agrees that sleep is something they put on the back burner. Except maybe my friend Maggie. She has great skin and she sleeps like a grandma. But I've always felt this complicated relationship of mine was a big road bump on the road to being the kind of person I wanted to be. Being perpetually tired and doing nothing about it drains so much of the good parts of you and I've felt that for over a decade.

When people ask me how I am casually at work or when I'm out and I respond with "tired," or "exchausted," I hate it. Being tired isn't a trait of the boss attitude I strive so hard to have. Being tired is an excuse I used to use so much to stop doing something I love and get rest instead. I could give you a lecture on how important sleep is to your ~health~ but let's not. SO what do we do? We try to be better.

I'm still very much struggling with this, but the first thing I decided to do was track my sleep in my trusty bullet journal. Seeing a visual of my bad habits has helped me understand my bad habits and I think that's true for anything. I think this is a small step for me in tracking so many other bad habits I've adapted. Seeing the tracker and directly seeing my mood tracker for each day on the next page shows a direct correlation on days when I got very little sleep and my less than great mood. I hope that at the end of the year my sleep tracker shows a much healthier ratio.
But most importantly, this sleep hill I'm walking upwards on has showed me that something I have had be a major factor in my life - for 25 years, can always be turned around. Sometimes I think we're too okay with bad things being the norm and we get comfortable. I hate being someone who is comfortable. In 2018, I hope to tackle even more bad habits to help get me to the me I like being.

Friday, February 2, 2018

the rules do not apply, but wouldn't it be nice if they did?

"Until recently, I lived in a world where lost things could always be replaced. But it has been made overwhelmingly clear to me now that anything you think is yours by right can vanish, and what you can do about that is nothing at all. The future I thought I was meticulously crafting for years has disappeared, and with it have gone my ideas about the kind of life I'd imagined I was due." 

- Ariel Levy, The Rules Do Not Apply

  In lew of my "new year, better me," attitude, I've vowed to make time for all the books and movies I say I want to watch/read and then end up putting on the back burner to instead watch How I Met Your Mother over for the billionth time. Memoirs are my favorite types of books. I hope to write a bitchin' one one day that affects somebody the same way so many good memoirs have affected me and lit a fire under my metaphorical motivation-less ass. I love stories, I love a good heartbreak in love and life, and most of all I love a good comeback. "The Rules Do Not Apply" by Ariel Levy has been on so many lists of must-reads and thanks to my little bookworm Kendyl Raye I was able to snag her copy to read and write all my nonsensical notes in.
   Levy takes you through her rise in journalism and the road of twists and turns of meeting her wife and eventually becoming a habitual cheater on her. She told a story of how she was embarking on a journalism trip across the globe, pregnant for the first time, and married to her wife happily after surviving her own infidelity and her wife's alcoholism for some time. Within a month, none of that would be true and her account of giving birth to her baby in a hotel bathroom and having him die within hours would be the peak of her unraveling. In the opening of the book, she says a line that sticks with me: "My sorrow is so intense it often feels like it will flatten me." Considering her circumstances, that isn't an exaggeration.

   While extreme cases are just that - extreme, I couldn't find myself sympathizing with Levy the way I'd hope I would throughout her beginning stages where she talks about the wrong choices she keeps making. We are all human and my closet of mistakes barely will shut as well, but I didn't buy it. Levy continuously talks about her selfish ways of cheating and jumping into things she isn't ready for. I found myself constantly thinking that this is a story where we are making life a lot harder than it has to be. But maybe that was the point.

   More than once, I'm sure we've all fallen into a pit where we are 100% sure that we are making the wrong decision yet for some ridiculous reason, we continue to do it. Like the next shot of tequila, the 2 am text message, or the yes when we meant no. And then there are those unmentionables that can't be summed up as easily. We decide the risk is worth it and maybe it's for the thrill or maybe it's because we have hope for a better outcome. Or maybe we are just really stupid. I've been there more than once, in fact, I've been there pretty recently. I don't think we realize situations like this until we are seeing an outsider's perspective because if we did, why would we be doing it?

   I digress. Reading this reminded me of emotional maturity and stability, and how you can be an ace at all of those things and how life can crush all of it by throwing something at you. It reminded me the importance of checking in with yourself and also checking yourself when you're acting wild. Once I realized this, I saw the book in a different light. Also, Levy's story of her success is admirable for a very novice writer as myself. I have to pay an ode to that. Because she is right, life does not give a damn about the rules.
 
   


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Caught in a chase, 25 to life

   I started this post as a listicle on the 25 things I've learned in my 25 years. I wrote the intro, I wrote a bunch of rough drafts of the countdown and I realized it wasn't what I wanted to say at all. So I deleted it and now I'm writing this very raw post that I'm hoping will turn out to make some sense. 

   This week I turned 25. I celebrated over the weekend with so many of the people I hold close by singing my heart out at Emo Nite in Dallas and ending the night with someone passed out in my bathtub and an UberEats receipt for 40 nuggets at 4am. If you don't call that a successful night, I don't think you know how to have fun. Everyone always tells you that after you turn 21 there aren't many more "fun birthdays." I tried a quick google search to see what would help make me feel like 25 was a bit more glamorous but about 90% of them were other versions of listicles, but the cheesy kind. Don't get me wrong - I am queen of the cheese, I shamelessly love the sap. But these were the thought catalog kinds that are appealing to a much wider audience with the intent of being hashtag relateable. I'd like to think that everyone's story is a little different, and mostly special and while you can always find something to take from someone else's words, none of those really spoke to me.

   What were the most important things I have learned in my 25 years? I decided couldn't really be put in a list because some really do only apply to me - like the fact that I think it's a complete sham that movies make it seem like being pepper sprayed is something you can bounce back from minutes later. I was accidentally pepper sprayed when I was a kid and I thought I was blind for two hours. Or the fact that I can't be convinced to speed because I can't be bothered to deal with the court system and a ticket. I like being a safe driver, minus my braking issue. Or how I'll never waste my time buying expensive earrings because I can't be trusted to not lose one. I got that from my grandma.

   But also most of them are things that I think aren't as easy to put in a listicle. I am quite literally, on the brink of a quarter life crisis. Some of my favorite people are younger than me and some are old with spouses and kids. It's a weird place to be when you're relating to neither of the two. When you're past so many "firsts" but no where near so many "starts." I do find comfort in the ones who are my age around me and seeing that most of them are going thru the same crisis as I with jobs, love and other drugs. However - can we just say it? Fuck the timeline. I don't seem to see a correlation in any of the people I admire in terms of what society told me the steps to success were.

   At this current state of life, I am both equally happy and confused about pretty much everything. I want what I can't have and I strive for things I'm not sure I want. I've learned the most cleansing thing I could do for myself was see my mom as a person instead of just a parent. I've realized the importance of being my own favorite person because everyone who has told you they'll be your biggest fan forever could be gone in a moment's notice. Also the value of my alone time increased so much when I started to love myself. But on that same note, always appreciating the hell out of the people who are genuine and decide to stick around. I've learned what to take serious and what not and how much that can ease of your stress. I've had plenty of the bad sides of dating and guys that soon it must be my turn for the good side, right? I let myself feel everything 100% which is sometimes a burden but because of that I know that I am not damaged. I've excelled in a career that lets me live the life I want to live. My group of friends are so kick ass and let me be me. I don't have to do things I hate anymore to appease the people around me. I do my own taxes, and am the sole keeper of all my financial responsibilities. I have a skin care routine and I am happiest when my closet is organized. I do know who I am and I didn't know if I would know that by 25. Those are the biggest things I've learned.

   I'm excited to read this in 5 years when I've hit 30 (*mini panic attack ensues*) and see what else I've learned and what else has changed. When I read through some of the old posts on this blog, I don't agree with my own opinions sometimes anymore. I enjoy seeing that evolution. Here's to 25, and more character development to come.