Sunday, December 15, 2019

L'ANGE

**This is not a sponsored post**

This blog took a while to post, for sure. I bought my Ondule last January! But since I worked in oral surgery for years, there was never really a reason to do my hair since it was always up...so I never got any "after pictures" of the curling wand in action.

Initially I purchased this wand because 1) ads were everywhere 2) I heard that titanium curls faster and better than ceramic and 3) they were having an awesome sale at the time.  Plus the reviews on their website were all great. Since it was such a good deal, the results looked good and my hair doesn't tend to like to hold curl, I thought, "Why not?"

So I purchased my 1" titanium Ondule curling wand. It has 4.9 out of 5 stars!

When it came, it was boxed beautifully and included a glove and instructions of use. 

Nice, durable cardboard box

Everything is packaged up so nicely!

All the contents ( the glove can be used on either hand )
It took me a few months to even try the curling wand out ( again, since my job didn't really warrant me needing to "get fancy" ) 

I also purchased a few hair products that included: Rival heat shield spray and Froze cool toning conditioner. Rival is a nice spray that locks out humidity, gives a light hold, smells great and helps to prevent heat damage. Froze is a toner to pull brass tones out of highlighted/blonde hair ( it does a very good job, but my color has pretty much grown out at this time ) So far, all products have not disappointed.

I used my Ondule yesterday before taking Christmas pictures, so now I can show the results. If you are interested in purchasing from this company, though, read the reviews!...they are super helpful and many girls show their real results. 

I always recommend using the glove; I'm a clutz and tend to burn myself quite easily HAHA

Nice, natural waves...not stiff, can finger through them without problem

Spray some Rival at your roots to help boost volume!
A few days ago I put in an order for the wand stand ( since they do not come with one, just FYI ) and 2 more products. Since I start my new job soon, I want products that help hair care to be a breeze in the mornings. I decided to try Salt + Sea texturizing spray and a new product Extende, which is a leave-in conditioning detangler. 

I have really liked all the products I've purchased so far, and L'ANGE always has *great* deals, including a points program that allows you to get dollars off your purchase. When I ordered this last time, they had a free-shipping day AND I had $10 in VIP rewards.  

And if you use my referral code the deal is you get a $5 giftcard with a qualifying order of at least $25. PLUS, they always have amazing deals that you can keep up-to-date with by following their Instagram or Facebook. 

Happy shopping, ladies ( and maybe gents )!   

 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Another Post About Depression...*insert eye roll*

I'm a big advocate for mental health awareness. Mostly because the suicide rate is extremely high these days and the stigma *still* exists. People feel like they can't get help. They feel alone and helpless. But I want to continue to reiterate that you are not alone! Just because I get up every morning ( even when I don't want to ) and do what I need to do to pay my bills does not mean that depression and anxiety aren't lingering over my head 24/7.

Some nights I can't sleep. Last night, I think I woke up every hour on the hour. 

This morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. The only thing that made me was knowing that I had a ( physical ) list of things I have to get done before I start my new job on Monday.

You ever see that Zoloft commercial with the little dark cloud that follows that little blob all day? It's the perfect representation to this day. Some days that cloud is teeny-tiny and some days it's thundering and throwing lightning every which way. But it's always there. 


Symptoms DO get in the way of daily life. These last 5 weeks have been nerve-racking: was I going to get the job I wanted? Was I going to get any job? Was this the right decision? Did I want to take a pay cut, even if I have the potential to grow in the company later on? Can I take a pay cut? How embarrassing is starting over? I started to doubt my self-worth. I started to second-guess myself. I was angry and hurt and listless and irritable and sad and tired and just...all the negative feelings. Even with starting a 30-day yoga challenge, keeping myself busy with crafts and journaling/blogging, my anxiety and depression were at an all-time high.

And with no insurance, you can't really see your regular therapist ( PS. SO excited that I get insurance day 1 and can start going to therapy again! ) 

So one day when I was feeling pretty down, I Googled "best free therapy apps" and came across 7 Cups. I wanted to talk to someone anonymously and for free ( since I don't have insurance, of course ) and sometimes it's easier to talk to a stranger than it is to feel like a "negative Nancy" to a loved one. 

Now, the interface is kind of confusing and stupid. But the concept is wonderful. You can either just be a user or you can become a listener yourself. But you pretty much choose if you want to talk to a therapist ( which involves a monthly fee ) or to a listener. You're connected to someone once you choose your option and then are free to talk away. I will admit that the first two interactions I had were...not good. But I feel like ANY app you get where there are thousands of people, you will run into some not-so-great individuals. But I didn't give up and ended up speaking with a lad from the UK named Steven who was really helpful and a great listener. I am thankful for him and the app that day. 

There are resources out there, guys! Even if you don't have mental health coverage or can't afford copays to see a therapist regularly, you can always find something. Be it a free app, the Suicide Hotline, counseling at your local church, AA, what-have-you. And all of these things are anonymous, so you shouldn't feel shame for needing/wanting help. 

Anxiety and depression are real, folks! Children and adults alike suffer with symptoms every day. It's time to educate ourselves and others and let people know that they have a safe space to talk, cry or yell. Without judgement. Without apology. 




 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

"Confidence For Sale!...We've Got Confidence For Sale!"

I'm not feeling super-inspired to write today; I mean, I am, but what I truly wanna do is call out a few people and rant and rage...but I won't. What I will do, though, is turn this into something positive. 

I will tell you today that you need to know your own worth. Because in some cases, other people will. not. You will work hard, bust your ass, be abused, drop boundaries, do your very best, be there for people, go out of your way for others and still...you will get shit on. 

And at the end of the day, if YOU don't see your own worth, you're going to be miserable just settling for what others give.

( I'm not going to lie--I just wrote a HUGE paragraph that I cut out of here because I'm so angry and it would've called out a bunch of people ) 

I know it's hard to know monetary-wise what you're worth unless you have something to reference to. But you should know the type of person you are. We all have good qualities and we all have bad qualities. My good qualities are that I'm hard working, organized, reliable, quick-thinking and compassionate. My bad qualities are that I'm emotional, empathetic, introverted, stubborn and I hold on to resentment. What you need to do, though, is sell your good qualities and know what you bring to the table. But also be accountable for your bad qualities, too.

In any situation.

Maybe in my last career position, I didn't ask for enough compensation to start. Maybe I sold myself short and low-balled what I "thought" was fair pay. Clearly, by what I've been informed of in the last week, that was true ( as I was one of the least paid ) But the point is, don't sell yourself short. What do you bring to the table that differs from the rest? What do you want paid? The worst someone can say is "no".

Now I'm not saying go into an entry-level position and ask for $25/hour! But I do think that research helps a lot before negotiating a salary. I do think that selling yourself is important. I do think confidence is key. And I feel like experience is a door-opener. I sold myself short because I didn't have experience with sedated patients. But what I did have experience with was patient care, surgery, documentation, xrays and ordering. And I ended up excelling in that oral surgery practice despite not having "formal training" in the specialty prior.

"If you exude confidence, you start to believe it."

You can sell yourself short in personal relationships, too, and that's what I see a lot of people around me doing most. You accept things that you should not have to. Be it poor behavior, bad habits, personality flaws, etc. If you're a nice, giving person and you're with someone who is materialistic and selfish...that's not right for either person involved. That's two polar opposites pretty much fighting against each other. Now of course there are exceptions to the rule: maybe someone grew up selfish and really wants to change their behavioral patterns...that's when compromise is key. But you can't over-compromise without hurting yourself in the end. When you start saying, "But I have flaws, too" to compensate for someone's bad behavior, we aren't being true to ourselves. 

Now there is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. I read a quote the other day on Instagram that explained it perfectly:


( I think this was the one) Be humble, but show you're capable. Don't boast, just know your stuff.

I mean, no matter what situation you are in, you must be confident in your qualities and capabilities, be comfortable with change/conflict/conversation, and know your own worth. You must stand up for yourself, stand up for others and aim to be the best version of yourself. You're allowed to want more, you're allowed to expect better treatment, you're allowed to ask for more compensation, and you're allowed to say no.

If you don't show people your own worth, they're going to set your worth for you...

...and if they won't listen, maybe it's time that you walk...✌👋💋




 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Which Is Right?

As most of you know, I deleted Facebook. However, I didn't delete Instagram. This is because 1) I don't want to lose all those pictures and 2) I need some sort of social media. Given, Insta should've probably gone over FB but refer to reason #1.

Anywho, I follow #mentalhealthrecovery, along with various other mental health/positivity pages. And one thing I've really realized over the last few months is how conflicting all of the information truly is. 

Sure I love seeing memes that lessen the burden of anxiety and depression. And I love that there's a community that can bond over having these conditions. We can support each other, even if it's just with a little heart-emblem "like". 

But what I don't like is one minute seeing "have boundaries and set limits; don't put up with people who don't serve you" and the next I see "everyone is going through something; don't give up on someone you love". These 2 sentences mean such different things, but are conflicting nonetheless. 

Let's say your partner is going through a trauma. And this trauma is causing tension. It's rough--you want to be there for them, but they are very needy right now. They are doing what they should be doing; taking their meds, going to therapy...but things are only slowly progressing. You're having a rough time with this. You have these two "quotes" coming at you...and they tell you to set boundaries, but don't give up. So you are like, WTF AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?! Because sometimes, you do have to go outside of your boundaries. It's not always black and white with mental health. If you set strict boundaries and never let ANYONE cross them, eventually you're going to come off as callous and mean. And I truly believe that. And you shouldn't give up on someone you love, this is true. But you can't let guilt keep you from being healthy.

So for someone with anxiety, these two suggestions/pieces of "insight" cause even more mental turmoil. 

They aren't uplifting.

They aren't helpful.

They've now become yet another thing to worry and stress about.

Because...what is the RIGHT thing to do?!

Because what is the right thing to feel?!

When you have anxiety, you over-analyze everything ( at least I do ) You can't just live in the present--you're constantly worrying about tomorrow, next week, next year, ten years from now. You're constantly up in arms because one wrong decision made now can completely change your life 5 years from now. It's alluding fear. It's stirring turmoil. It's getting you upset about shit that hasn't even happened only because it *could*.

One from today says, "It's okay to tell your story like it really is." Upon first reading that, it shows me that I shouldn't be afraid to talk about things. I shouldn't be afraid of hiding anything. But then, anxious brain comes into play and I'm like, "But what if others think I'm being ridiculous? What if they think my story is a lie? What if they think I'm blowing things out of proportion? What if they are annoyed?"

Some of these can be more of a trigger than inspiring and uplifting.

There's an overabundance of information on the internet, which can be beneficial but also detrimental to your mental health. When you follow women with amazing bodies and rich people who flaunt their money or even people you once knew that seem to "have it all", it doesn't help a bad state of mind to get better.

...and reading all the mental health "inspo quotes" on social media can leave one asking if they're doing the right thing or the wrong thing. 

We need to be more cautious about what we put out for others to see and read. Inspiration should be just that: inspirational. If you want to go to a therapist, go find a good fit for YOU and get advice from them...when you go looking on the internet for things, it is very vague and one-sided and does not always pertain to your particular situation. 

Which is right?...I don't know. All I know is that the more I read, the more I doubt and the more I doubt, the more unhappy I become. So don't follow things that make you upset, and do your damndest to find your own happy...

 

 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Happy Monday!

It's a beautiful day in South Central PA guys! The high is 60 at the end of November, and sunshine all day in the forecast! I feel like I need to turn off the heat and open the windows today, y'all! 

I woke up this morning with Danielle's alarm; which has been the story of my life going into week 3. But it's okay; at least I get to lay in bed for another hour or so and just relax...no rush to fly out of bed.

Things have been different. I'm so used to be on edge and rushed around on a regular basis, so even though I'm quite stir crazy, I'm relieved. I'm trying to find myself again; the person who wasn't always resentful and angry due to the situations I was handed. It's hard...but I'm trying. I need to let things go before I can truly move on, so now it's the process of acceptance and forgiveness.

I started doing a 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube and that's been helpful. I've completed 4 days so far and I can tell the difference even between days 1 and 4. I'm stretching, I'm exercising, I'm relieving stress and I'm re-aligning myself. 

Last week when we had those two really nice days, I also took a walk around town. Just checking out the new shops and the scenery, the architecture and the vibes. The first day was really nice; the second day was nice too but more peopley. 

Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I have a fun-filled weekend ahead. We go to her dads on Thanksgiving afternoon, my dads Thanksgiving evening, then Abbey is coming to stay at my place from Thursday into Friday. Mallory is in town for the holiday so I'm spending Black Friday with her ( the first B.F. I've had off in YEARS! ) and then Saturday I'm prepping a turkey for an impromptu "Friendsgiving" that I'm holding on Sunday. I haven't cooked a turkey since Adler and I first started dating ( which is probably about 10 years ago ) but I'm excited. And I'll have turkey leftovers for daaaaaaaaays!

I went to see Summer yesterday and when I came home the apartment looked amazing thanks to D, so that was awesome. I did some de-cluttering and cleaning earlier this weekend; managed to get about a 13 gallon trash bag full of things to donate plus did some rearranging AND I found my long lost SS card! Man, being an adult can be rough sometimes! LOL.

I had an interview last week and have been placing about 2 job applications a day. Unfortunately, the job market kinda sucks and I have my heart set on a few companies that I really want to get into. The interview I went to was with one of them, but the starting salary is quite low. But I would have the opportunity to grow in the company later down the road. I'm trying to take it one day at a time and not rush into something based off of fear; I have a plan and if it falls through I have a back-up plan. So there's that. I just want to make sure that my next move is the right move, and not just "a" move. 

I have to say that today is a good day, but lately it's been hard to have them. A lot of stress comes from the unknown, and worry can wear a person down. But I'm trying to stay positive and take it a step at a time. I am crafting and selling my crafts, I'm exercising and trying to get myself healthier, I'm focusing on what I really want and need in my life, and I'm putting my faith into God and the universe right now. 

There is a plan for me, as long as I work hard to want to follow that plan. It doesn't mean I can just sit here and HOPE something happens, but I know that my "happy place" is out there if I try. 

I know no one asked for an update of my life, but I know some people out there read this. And if you do, hey!...I'm okay! And I'm gonna be okay...one way or another...





 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Resentment

re·sent·ment
/rəˈzentmənt/
noun

bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.


Welcome to my world; where I resent about 2/3 of the population.


It's not because I want to. It's not because I'm a "Millenial" or Gen Y. It's because of the person that I am on the inside. It's because of what I've been through in my life. It's because of what others have done to me in the past. Resentment is a hell-of-a feeling...and it eats at your very core.


In therapy, I worked on some of my issues with resentment. I learned to finally forgive people in my past for hurting me. For saying cruel things, gossiping about me, appearing as a friend to my face but acting as an enemy behind my back. Exes, friends, family...broken people who used me to benefit themselves. I forgave them. But it took a long time.


And all that pent-up resentment caused a distrust in most humans.


Now I'm harboring another form of resentment, that not only makes me question others but also myself. I have been in and out of such a bad place for several years now, and I feel like it's really taken its toll. I don't know who I am or what I want in life anymore. And it's scary. It's terrifying to feel so broken after expecting things that you never received. For feeling taken for granted, underappreciated, ridiculed/mocked, treated unfairly, and looked down upon. For taking so much in stride until you just couldn't deal anymore. It's hard to pick yourself up out of that.


Resentment stems from ruminating over negative details, but when your experience felt more negative than it was positive, it's hard to stay on the course. Your ego is bruised. Your feelings are hurt. You feel like you gave your all and got nothing in return; like it was wasted time. I tried so hard to keep a positive attitude, keep my mouth shut and go with the flow. I was expected to just bend to appease others. But by doing that, I accepted things that I should never had accepted, didn't speak up when I should have, and pretty much set myself up for this.


I'm so disappointed in myself.


A lot of people found themselves very resentful during the last election. An article from Psychology Today discusses 8 strategies to work through resentment. You need to allow yourself to feel and understand the emotion, but you can't live within in. This is something I'm battling pretty hard at the moment. When resentment succumbs your life for so long, it's hard to look forward to "better"...you're already so gun-shy about certain types of people or situations, and it keeps you from coming out of your comfort zone; from challenging yourself.


Resentment is like hate--it hurts you more than it does the other person/people. It's a hollow emotion that helps no one.


But to work through resentment, you must realize you feel it, vent it out healthy ways, accept it, and move on from it. I compare it to the stages of grief:


Denial: at first you may not realize that this is an issue, and you may just look the other way; you expect things will change with time


Anger: you realize there is an issue and you start becoming angry with the person(s) that are treating you unfairly


Bargaining: you speak up...and maybe things change...but if they don't, you start wondering if YOU need to make the change


Depression: no one wants to feel resentful of others; we don't want to feel like we were targeted or treated unfairly


Acceptance: you realize that the only person you can control is yourself and that how others treat you is a reflection of themselves and not you


Of course, this is my own comparison. But I feel like it's pretty comparable to "losing someone". You put your faith and trust in a person and they disappoint you, and when resentment rears its ugly head it's like the death of a relationship. It's hard to come back from that.


#8 in the article states that you must "practice applying the understanding that unless you've learned how to change the past, it's as good as it's ever going to get". In Layman's terms, you're never going to move on from this feeling until you've accepted it.


And yes, I know it's hard to resist negativity, but it's essential. So much is a mess in this world and we don't take enough time to appreciate the little things. We get so caught up in the negativity and resentment that sometimes we just need to detoxify ourselves and learn better coping mechanisms. Be it meditation, yoga, reading, writing, crafting, the like.


You can't live a happy and valid life while harboring resentment of people from the past. Yes, easier said than done, but it's essential to progress. Take a deep breath, know your feelings are valid, and release it. Just let it go.


 


 

Monday, November 4, 2019

"Is It Just Me?"

I contemplate that statement a lot in my life. I was an inquisitive child, and am as an adult. 

It sucks.

Because as I've grown, I've learned that I can no longer people please at the expense of myself. But what does that mean for me?

When you aren't looking out for the well-being of others over yourself, you piss off a lot of people. Whether they feel entitled or that you're "screwing them over"...people that lack boundaries will always be against those who have them. But when is it all in your head, and when is it reality?

Do Other People See It, Too?

This is a major point to make when asking this question. Are you the only one feeling this way, or do others agree with what is happening? I'm not saying "coming to complain with you" agree, but more or less "brought up in conversation" agree. If you know that numerous people are seeing or feeling the same way that you are, it's not just you. You may intensify it more by being in your head too much, but when others can concur that there is indeed a negative pattern, learn to not second-guess yourself. Clearly, there is a pattern that others also see.

Remember That Your Feelings Are Valid, No Matter What Others May Say

The only person in control of your life...is you. "Perception is reality" and if you're feeling some sort of way, you're allowed to. No one can make you feel otherwise. If you get bad vibes from someone, you get bad vibes. If you feel sick when you go certain places, you should stop going there. Sometimes, you have to do what's best for your mental health. We spend decades on this Earth; working, forming relationships, paying bills, trying to be happy. If something doesn't serve you well, you shouldn't have to feel obligated to it. That's not being entitled or bratty; that's having boundaries and expectations of the behavior of those you surround yourself with. Your feelings are valid, and if you can't change others you must make the change for yourself.

Keep A Journal

I keep a journal to write in when I'm feeling extra anxious and need to just spill words on paper. It helps sort your thoughts and get all that negative energy out of your system. It also lets you reflect on the events that are infuriating you so that you can see the big picture. It may not change the events of what's happening, but it can hopefully allow you to see a clearer picture of what needs to change in your life and help you to make moves to better your quality of life.

Don't Brush It Off

When you let things build and boil over, you tend to explode. And usually, it's not in the way you had intended. If you speak up and your voice isn't heard, it's time to tell those people good-bye. If you feel like you can't even speak to these people, those people don't deserve to have you in their lives. You can't let people abuse you and walk all over you, then have the nerve to ask why you're so unhappy. The people who truly care about you and your well-being AS A WHOLE will listen compassionately, work with you to help you be the best version of yourself that you can be, and understand that maybe change is warranted within themselves if they make people feel the way they have. 

I have a lot of self-doubt; even after I make a decision in which I feel very strongly is the "right" one. Because I am one that always thinks of the "what ifs". But you can't lead a happy life only worrying about what COULD happen. You need to grab life by the balls and do what you need to do for you. You are not responsible for anyone's happiness other than your own. 

You can sit around and hope things will change, but you know they won't. When people are set in their ways, the only one who can change the situation is themselves. And if they see no problem in their words or actions, change will never occur. 

So, it's not "just you". And if majority says otherwise, who cares! You get this one life and if something makes you unhappy, the only one who can change that is you. Your relationship, your job, your family, where you live, what you accept; YOU must take the steps to change your surroundings and your mentality. 

If you can't turn this shit into sugar, it's time to find a new toilet.