Monday, June 24, 2019

"I Either Like You, Or I Just Don't Care"...

We throw around the word "hate" as a common term for disliking someone. As I get older, I tend to really "hate" that phrase "I hate ( insert name here )" because hatred is such a strong emotion to have, and hurts you more than it hurts the other person.

Hate, defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury; or extreme dislike/disgust" Yup, that's about right. But what about hate hurts you emotionally?

Everyday Health wrote an article titled The Destructive Power of Hate. It's a good read. It explains how hate is so strong that it can consume you. It can change your state of mind in an instant. The first line of the article is so powerful: Poison isn't always something you eat or drink--it can be an emotion. And it's true--hatred is poisonous to your own mental health. 

Huffpost.com also wrote a good article with tips on how to overcome hatred and anger. It's a short read but packed with good information.

Why do we hate? 

I can honestly say I hate no one. Sure, I dislike many people ( or people in general ) because most people are not self-aware or empathetic...which makes them come off as rude, expecting, arrogant and only out for themselves. Unfortunately, the world is filled with that type. I like to surround myself with good, caring people; they are few and far in between though. 

For a while, I did hate people. People who hurt me, said bad things about me, made me look like a fool. But I realized quickly that I did not HATE them, I was simply HURT by them. Calling me names hurt. Breaking up with me hurt. Cheating on me hurt. Sleeping with my ex hurt. But the "hate" consumed me for my late teens and early 20s, to the point where it was exhausting. I was exhausting to LISTEN to. And eventually, I came to the point where I couldn't even remember fully WHY I "hated" someone. So I let the emotion go. Why take all that time and energy to "hate" someone when it does nothing to hurt them and only hurts yourself?

So now, I don't hate. I read this quote online and it resonated deep:



And I make a conscious point to tell people when they say to me "God, I hate so-and-so" that..."it's not hate; it's not that serious...you don't like them, and you're allowed to not like them...but you don't hate them". I do that because I feel like some people use the word too loosely and it's only hurting themselves in the end.

Plus, I am a firm believer in karma. I feel things that go around come around and that the energy you voice is the energy you receive. When you "hate" someone, it messes with your energy. Now, as someone dealing with anxiety, sometimes it's a little hard to "practice what I preach" simply because my anxious brain stews. And then the depression makes everything way more dreary and negative. It's a battle to maintain a positive attitude. But one way of rewiring your brain for the better is to cut out the use of the word "hate" altogether!

We are humans; always evolving, always learning. We truly do not have to be the person we were yesterday if we don't want to. It's not being "bi-polar" or any other rude ways to say it; it's you struggling to be the best version of yourself everyday. It's hard; it truly is. And some days will be better than others. But little changes in habit can make a big difference in the long-haul. It takes time, commitment, energy and self-awareness to change behavior patterns. So I challenge you to stop using the word hate--replace it with dislike, but just cut hate from your vocabulary altogether...

Peace & love!


Sunday, June 23, 2019

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

Alright ladies...we all know that the nail salon can get pretty expensive. Even if you're going once a month, it's still an extra expense. Back in the day when I had acrylic nails, I had to go back every 2-3 weeks ( or they'd start to look like hell ) And now, salons are doing "powder dip" manicures...which is pretty much colored acrylic powder dipped onto the nails and filed/painted smooth. 

Unfortunately, my nails tend to lift. My long time nail guy Kevin used to tell me it's just because I have naturally oily nails...so no matter how much they are buffed, they still lift off near my cuticle a lot. So I can't get gel polish because it doesn't stay, and even the dip tends to lift. And at $35/pop I can't really bring myself to keep up with it when they only stay put for a little over a week.

I decided to start searching out for do-it-yourself kits. I noticed that Walmart carried a brand called seren.dip.ity by Color Club in their stores. It was $19.99 and it came with everything needed to do your own manicure. I jumped on it and bought it.

Now, if you can paint your nails pretty well, this kit will be easy. If you kinda suck at it, sadly, I'd say stick to the salon. The powder can get very uneven so you must be swift and efficient when doing this on your own. As always, there are also videos you can follow on YouTube, but the kit has thorough instructions on the back of the box. 

I started doing my own dip manicures back in March, but since then a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon. I've seen some awesome results and some not so much...but it's all about getting a rhythm.

If you decide to buy a kit, my first recommendation is to MAKE SURE ALL YOUR BOTTLES HAVE ALL OF THEIR CONTENTS IN THEM! My friend Summer got the exact kit that I did, but her activator was completely empty when she got it home. It had apparently leaked out all over the other pieces and you need the activator to do the process. The kit has a clear plastic over the contents, so just make sure you see that everything looks full.

The 4 kits that I have seen so far are the Color Club one ( with multiple choices for powder colors ), Sally's has Quick Dip kits for around $40(?) each but also has numerous separate colors for about $8/pop, Kiss brand has a kit, and there is also Revel which I see online a lot--and actually follow their Instagram page. All the kits pretty much contain the same tools, though: the prime bond, the activator, dip colors and either a) finishing gloss or b) brush cleaner. Mine came with a finishing gloss, but I realized quickly that it dries uneven and does not leave a nice shiny finish. I recommend using a normal topcoat ( I've grown to love Seche Vite top coat ) 

A quick rundown of how it works:

1. prep your nature nails ( clean, rough up with a file, cut cuticles, etc )
2. paint on the prime bond
3. dip the nail and tap off excess
4. activator
5. prime bond
6. dip
7. activator
8. buff smooth and even
9. rinse hands with water
10. paint top coat

Each kit comes with their own instructions for time between applications, so read them carefully. If you aren't precise, you can easily have quite a mess on your hands.

Second run--pink hue by Color Club, glitter by Quick Dip
I've done numerous runs since March; some I was pleased with and some not so much. When you're over your shade, simply saturate a piece of cotton with PURE ACETONE, place on your nail and wrap with tin foil. It's how they remove them in the salon and works WAY better than soaking your fingers in acetone ( I hate that ) It does take a while to remove the old polish, and it's nice to let your nails breathe for a few days before reapplication. So if you give it a leeway period it won't be so time consuming.

My favorite mani so far--red by Color Club, glitter by Quick Dip
Try it out! I highly recommend it. I've used all brands listed above aside from the Revel and I've had great results. Just remember that patience is everything and practice makes perfect!



Monday, June 17, 2019

College Degree Means Nothing To Me...

I didn't go to college. I know, let the "boos" commence. But unlike some people's perceptive reasoning as to why kids don't go to college, that was not mine. So, here's some of my bitching in true Bitchfest fashion. 

I did very well in school. In elementary and middle school, I was on the Honor Roll a lot. A/B average, and not because I studied extra hard or my parents expected it of me, but because I genuinely liked school and liked to learn.

Fast forward to high school, I was still smart...but did I always apply myself to my fullest potential? No. Sometimes I was a little too worried about boys or friends or life that I didn't put forth the effort I maybe should have to get things like, you know, scholarships for college. 

Graduation comes...I think, "I want to go to HACC for nursing" ( PS. SO glad I didn't! ) and eventually transfer out. I even enrolled and went to open house. But I have a single dad who paid child support for my half sister, and only got back half of that for Carol and I combined from our mother. Yet, somehow, because every government grant is based off gross pay and not net, my dad made too much money when filing FAFSA to get me any kind of grants for school. So all monies for me to go to college would have had to been student loans.

Now, this was about the time when going to college didn't automatically mean you were guaranteed to find a job once out. The economy wasn't so great and a lot of kids were coming out with Bachelors or Masters and not being able to find work. This scared me. I grew up with no money and, for about half my life, in a single parent household. I didn't want to start my adult life in tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt, working a minimum wage job trying to pay the loans back plus my monthly bills. 

So...I didn't go to college. 

Instead, I started trying to find the highest paying jobs I could right out of high school. I worked as a CNA for over a year and then progressed to a job for Roadway Trucking Company that, unfortunately, outsourced the entire department to India about 3 years later. That job started me at $11/hr but at my highest there, I made $18.22/hr. I was 21 years old. 

After that job was nixed, I was able to go back to school for further training for a new career FOR FREE ( thanks to the Trade Readjustment Act )...so I picked dental assisting. It was a diploma program, not an Associates Degree, so I still do not have a "college degree". Yet, I work a full time job in which I bust my ass for, in a necessary field with lots of work, pays decent money for someone "who didn't go to college"...and I'm still looked down upon.

I dated a guy who pretty much made it seem like I was not in his league because I didn't have a fancy college degree. Maybe it was other things too, but that seemed like the major one. In a year and a half I never once met any of his family or actual friends ( just acquaintances ) It made me feel poorly about myself for a minute, like I'm not enough because I don't have a big important career to show off and I was still probably considered 'lower-middle class'. My work ethic and my love for my ( actual ) job meant nothing. I was an embarrassment to him...because society makes you feel that it's okay to not have a college education if you are beautiful, because you can marry up and be taken care of. But when you're average, you'd better have something better to bring to the table. 

I now make about $6 more an hour than I did then, but it's still nothing compared to what he probably was making...

But I feel like we are forced to date "within our education limits"...because, if you're not gorgeous, or an exceptional wife/caretaker/housekeeper, you're pretty much gonna date/marry within your economic status. Or hey, maybe I'm just a shitty girlfriend and that's why college educated persons were never interested in me...*shrugs*

It just makes me wonder what determines that. Is the person looking down on someone because of their education level simply an asshole? Is it fear? Are they afraid of being used for financial stability only? I want to understand why people have this complex, and how some don't even bother to get to know the person simply because of their educational background. Education does NOT equal work ethic, and I know that well. Just because you have a fancy plaque on the wall doesn't mean you aren't lazy. Book smart and street smart are two very different things, and I have realized that the smartest people I know have been the ones with the least common sense. So who are they to look down upon someone who...may work in a warehouse, but works VERY hard and is working their way up the ladder? Or someone who takes a pay cut to change career fields and gain the ability to grow within the company?

It's hard these days...very few people can live off of a single income. A lot of households have two working parents. Day care is expensive. Living in itself is expensive. You should respect anyone who goes to work everyday, college education or not, and does the best that they can do each day. Someone who busts their ass to provide for their family and tries to make their life better deserves respect. I know some people who didn't even graduate high school and have worked their way up the economic ladder because of hard work and drive. And I also know college graduates who do jack shit all day and get paid astronomical amounts of money all because of a piece of paper. 

A college degree means nothing to me if you aren't kind and compassionate, empathetic and real...




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Bully

Hey all! I drafted this a few weeks ago but never got the chance to finish/post it. So, for your viewing pleasure, here is 'Bully':

I'm an adult--I understand "life isn't fair". I understand that not all people are out for your best interest ( as they are more worried about their own ) Logically, I see this. 

But what I don't understand is...why?

Why must people be blatantly unfair? Why must they be "out to get" certain people? Why must they be underhandedly mean, masked as a "joke"? Sarcasm is the new compliment, it seems, and it's not always aimed at the correct audience.

No one really lifts each other up anymore. I feel like it's always throwing under the bus, blaming, finger pointing and the like. People don't mind their own business, and dig graves for others. What does one achieve by doing such? 

I cannot stress this enough: "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". I honest-to-God don't understand some peoples' need to be intentionally cruel to others. I mean, I *know* they say it's usually due to lack of self esteem but...that's not a good enough excuse for me. 

I was bullied a lot in high school. People called me names before I even knew what those names meant. I was a dramatic teen with no mother figure and a crap dad and I was called a LOT of names. I was pushed around a lot ( verbally, not physically ) because I was an easy target. I feel like those who have been bullied in their past end up one of two ways; they either stand up for the "little guy" because they know how it feels...or they become the bully themselves. I try to stand up, but I've seen many others just become the bully.

Oh!...and let me stress this now...this blog is not specified towards any certain person. This post is about how society today would rather record a disaster rather than help someone...how instead of being accountable for their own actions, they point fingers and say "but he's doing thiiiiiis"....how people overlook traumas/mental illness and punish them instead of actually helping them...how people assume the intentions of others without even knowing or trying to understand...and how bullying is a epidemic no matter what age.

They try to tell you during your teenage years that "it will get better". What they don't tell you is that it will only get better if YOU decide your self-worth and learn to ignore the hatred. Because in all honesty, a lot of people don't grow up. Work, church, friends, family: we still, as a whole, gossip/talk about/pick on people. It's human nature, it seems. That's why I try my damnest to avoid being a part of it. It's hard sometimes...to try to not always say what you're thinking...but it's something more people need to learn to do. 

I don't know how many times people have to hear it, but "assuming makes an ass out of you and me"...and it's true. And yes, being someone who suffers from anxiety, I know what it feels like when you see someone in a bad mood or clearly upset, and automatically take it to heart. But you know what I do?...I internalize it quietly. Because...I don't know what's going on with them; I don't know why they are upset/mad. And it's their choice to share it with me or not. You know how they say that the worst thing to tell a woman is "calm down"?...well, I believe that the worst thing to do is to make an assumption that you're being personally attacked and making matters worse by copping an attitude/saying something smart-assed in rebuttal. In all reality, whatever is going on with someone may have NOTHING to do with you and, if it does, do you honestly think they are going to verbalize it? This is how most gossip/anger/annoyance/bullying starts: from an assumption.

Sure, I've been mean to people in the past. At 32, I've learned that you don't get anywhere by doing so. My empathy for people has grown stronger in the last few years, because I understand how it feels to go through some shit and not always having someone there to understand. I had a frenemy who would beat me SO far into the ground simply because her boyfriend would use me as ammo to verbally abuse her. She would call me "whale", "slut", tell people the secrets I entrusted her with, the nines. So of course I would rebuttal with insults...but you know what it did? Nothing. It just fueled her more. Gave her more ammo to abuse me even more-so. What did this teach me? That being mean to someone who is mean to you truly solves nothing. Back then, I did it because I was hurt and felt like I was defending myself by stooping. Now, I see that she was hurt and deflecting her pain on to someone else. Nonetheless, it's no excuse for treating me poorly--but I logically understand why she did. But now, if I feel like you don't care, that you don't listen, that you aren't someone I want to salvage a relationship with, I don't bully...I just simply don't bother with you anymore. 

When people go out with the intention to do ill to others, that is bullying.

When they snoop and do intense research to get someone in trouble, that's cruelty.

When they can't own up to their mistakes or say that they are sorry, that is narcissism. 

When people feel the need to record their good deeds instead of simply doing them, they are not truly good people.

When they see someone struggling in ANY aspect in their life, and they look away instead of taking the initiative to help, they aren't real friends. 

I am by FAR not perfect. It's a struggle everyday to try to become the person I want to be. If you knew me when I was younger and know me now, you'd see the difference. I'm not so self-absorbed. I'm not so dramatic. I've learned that not all attention is good attention. But I also don't let people shit on me all the time anymore, either. I was so worried about maintaining friendships, shitty or not, that I let people do some pretty horrible things to me. And nowadays, more people seem to like you when you don't have boundaries. But I keep them. If you rub me the wrong way, I get a bad vibe, etc...I give up on you. I wasted too many years giving FAR too many chances to stick around in hopes you "change". 

Like something I read today on Facebook; "Just because you lost me as a friend doesn't mean you gained me as an enemy. I still want to see you eat, just not at my table." Society is so quick to criticize everything that anyone does, and most people seem to lack empathy to understand why. Kids would rather bully someone for being poor ( like it's the kids choice or something... ) instead of do something nice for a kid that really doesn't have much. Someone would rather deem someone a "bitch" instead of looking at the underlying reasons as to why they are acting the way they do. People would rather call another crazy instead of changing their own ways. 

We live in a world of ego-maniacs who have no self-awareness and have no desire to be kinder to strangers, do a little something extra to lessen the burden of another or simply just mind their own business.

...and it makes it a very sad world to live in.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Leave My Uterus Alone!

Yup. Here it comes. The abortion law post.
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The internet is booming with rage. From Tweets, to Facebook posts, to Instagram...women are outraged. Men are outraged. Trans and non-binary are outraged. As they say: Abortion does not just affect women only.

The new laws passed in Georgia and Alabama won't allow abortions even in circumstances of rape or incest.

They won't allow a 15 year old girl to abort the baby of the stepdad who's been raping her.

They won't allow the mother who could die if the child is carried to term to abort to save her own life.

Women from these states can serve time in prison for seeking help in other states who haven't passed such abortion laws yet.

Read this article from CNN about Missouri's abortion law that just passed. Read how old, cis, white males talk about women and abortions. A republican representative pretty much claimed that most rapes are "consensual"...um, what?! And he also stated that women are given 8 weeks ( "plenty of time" ) to abort after a sexual assault, if they want to.

Do you know that most women don't even know that they pregnant until about 8 weeks?!

This entire situation is bringing us back decades in women's rights. 

Why do old white men think they have any say in our reproductive rights? I feel like representatives think that women choose abortion like they do the shoes that they wear for the day. Do they not realize that abortion is a difficult decision for anyone? Do they not realize the psychological and physical disadvantages of having an abortion?

I have never personally had an abortion/been pregnant, but I feel that no one should have a right to tell me what I can do with my body. Fetus or not. I am very much "pro-choice".

But legislative officials see my body as a vessel for a life that I have no right to terminate--whether it be for my own safety, because I was raped on my way home from a night out with friends, because a family member raped me, or really...for any reason I feel it necessary. 

Do you know how many children are homeless in America right now? Per AIR's website, that number is 2.5 MILLION! So, to me, these reps are stating that they would rather women have children that are unwanted...thus causing this statistic to grow even more, than to have women abort the fetuses they don't feel they can adequately care for. 

Honestly, it's no one's business as to why someone has an abortion. And, in my opinion, it should remain that way. 

No one should be forced to carry a child who will be deemed mentally or physically handicapped and will have no quality of life.

No one should be forced to keep their rapist's child.

No one should be forced to make a decision that they don't want to make. 

Hell, the government also feels that we shouldn't be able to receive birth control for free or reduced cost. They feel that feminine hygiene products are a "luxury" that needs to be taxed. Per axthepinktax, women spend an extra $1,351 a year simply because we have vaginas! EXCUSE ME!? They feel that women who have sex are the devil, yet male culture praises men being sexual.

I understand the logic behind a fetus being a human being, the fight on "when the heart begins to beat", etc...but I also feel that, just like with a BIRTHday, day 1 starts the day you are actually born into this world. And you know what else? That is my opinion and it doesn't have to be yours too. 

I know women who have had D & C procedures due to miscarriage; they aren't fun. You bleed for days. You get horrible cramping. Oh, and you also deal with the psychological repercussions of losing a child. What woman WANTS to sign up for that?!

On that topic, I read while browsing the internet that women who miscarry may go under investigation?! WHAAAAAAAAAT?! Why are we going backwards as a society?!

What happened to civil rights?!?!?

I'm scared. I'm scared for our country, our healthcare system, and society as a whole. 

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

No Food or Drink After Midnight...

"...this includes no breath mints, chewing gum or cough drops. And don't smoke!"

Patients who undergo any procedure that requires general anesthesia are told these instructions. Sure, you may hear slight variations but for the most part that is the rule. Don't eat. Don't drink. 

You may think we are just being cruel. You may think that we are just saying it for our health. But really, we say it for YOUR health. Here's why.

When you are put under general anesthesia, your organs go to sleep also. Your brain, your stomach, the like. It's like being asleep but also in a coma. Sometimes you will have a natural airway ( no breathing tubes ) and, for longer procedures, you may be intubated. Intubation is done either down the nasal passage or the throat to deliver oxygen during your procedure. So if you hear "being tubed", that means you would receive an endotracheal tube during your procedure.

Anyway, back to being NPO.

NPO is shorthand for "nothing by mouth", meaning you haven't eaten or drank for the designated amount of time. This is important because you can vomit, aspirate and potential cause life-threatening problems.

Let's say you come in for an endoscopy ( scope of the esphagus and stomach ) and, before your procedure, you eat a piece of toast with butter and jelly. Your stomach must go through a process to digest any food that you consume. It takes about 6-8 hours for your food to digest and pass through the stomach. Meaning, stomach acid is still flowing and the potential for vomiting is still there.

While under general anesthesia, all of your reflexes are inactive. This includes the reflex that keeps you from choking. So let's say you vomit or regurgitate that "light breakfast" you ate an hour before your procedure. Your body cannot react to that food coming back up, and the potential that it goes down "the wrong tube" ( aka. your lungs ) is quite high. Food aspirated into the lungs can cause breathing problems that can lead to aspiration pneumonia or even cause the need to have a chest tube placed for drainage. In severe instances, aspiration pneumonia can lead to death.

It's not anything to mess around with, so if a patient presents to their appointment stating they only had a bite of a soft pretzel or smoked a cigarette on their way to our office or drank water an hour ago, they must be rescheduled. The severity of the situation can literally be life or death. 

Patients have no qualms researching things on Google or YouTube when it comes to their impending procedure, but very little look to see WHY we ask you be NPO. 

And if you didn't know before, you know now.

Monday, May 6, 2019

"C'mon And Get (Meta)Physical, Physical"

Stones.

Crystals.

The power of energies and healing. 
 
 
When I was young, I collected stones. I'm not absolutely sure where the "passion" came from, but I recall receiving polished stones as birthday and holiday gifts, and even receiving a book that explained the stones from my Nanny. I was obsessed. I had salt rock and Tiger's Eye and Rose Quartz and a BEAUTIFUL Amethyst cluster. I kept them arranged in a plastic jewelry-making box ( 2, actually ) And I added to the collection extensively during my 4th grade year.

My teacher would give us "coupons" in 4th grade whenever we did something good/nice/etc. We could save these coupons and trade them in for polished stones. I loved this. I had so many stones and I loved every one of them. Mostly because they were pretty, as I didn't really understand the power of stones and crystals so young.

When we moved to Florida, the stones came with. But the summer I decided to move back to PA with dad, only basics were taken. I left behind many nostalgic items...including my rock collection. I'm still upset about it to this day...and I'm fairly certain my Mother got rid of them...along with many other items I cared for. 

ANYWAY, Danielle and I went to the National Apple Harvest Festival this fall and there was a vendor selling stones. I decided to grab about $10 worth. Then as time progressed, I really thought about restarting a collection. I love stones and what they represent, especially now because I'm older and have a better understanding of their energies. So over the weekend I decided to visit my local metaphysical store; Gracefull Heart in Carlisle. 

It was my first time in the store. Well, it was my first time in ANY metaphysical store honestly. And as soon as I walked in there were stones galore! I was in heaven. Hematite and Jasper, Turquoise and Quartz. Stones carved as skulls and dragon flies. Incense. And bookshelves full of books about chakras and crystals, meditation and yoga. For such a small store there was SO much to look at. I didn't even get a chance to take everything in. I'll definitely have to go back and take my time looking through everything.

Listed below are a few of the stones I got on my adventure and what they represent based on the website https://www.healingcrystals.com/:

Blue Goldstone

A beautiful deep blue with sparkles galore, this stone helps with uplifting/self-confidence, positivity and optimism and is said to be calming to the spirit.

Hematite

A metallic gray stone, it aids in emotional balance, diffusing anger, to dispel negativity and help with confidence.

Garnet

A red/brown stone ( also my birthstone ), garnet deals with compassion, honesty, loyalty and dignity. It is to help with relationships and willpower.

Amethyst

I have this stone in cluster and polished form. Amethyst is to aid with anxiety, coping with changes, decision making, peace, nightmares, motivation and reducing stress. I love amethyst in its cluster form, and the stone is a beautiful 
purple hue.
 
From right to left: clear quartz, garnet, rose quartz, tigers eye, banded carnelian, citrine quartz, amethyst, goldstone, green adventurine, hematite, magnesite, botswana agate, yellow jasper, lepidolite, amazonite, prehnite ( I think those are all right...)
 
Whether you believe in the healing powers of stones or not, they are beautiful specimens. Keep them in your pocket, in a pretty bowl on your table, by your nightstand, wherever! You can use them, or just showcase them!