Tuesday, August 27, 2019

PostSecret *shhh*

I don't recall if I've ever written about the topic before. But even if I have, I'm going to again. Because I just read an Instagram post from the page that hit me really hard. It says;

"I bring my lunch box to work everyday, because no one at work asks me to go out for lunch. As soon as it becomes noon, they tell me they will leave for lunch, leaving me alone in the office. Once I tried to go with them, they just left me. Since then, I do not talk in the office except when I really need to. It's like a teenager thing, BUT IT MATTERS."

So let me backtrack. I've been following PostSecret for many years now. PostSecret is a community where anonymous postcards are sent to the creator ( Frank Warren ) and then he chooses a dozen or so and posts them on his website every Sunday. #sundaysecrets It's a way to release a secret you've been wanting to share, having a safe space to do as such, and some of them are super interesting.

I've actually submitted a few secrets. None of them were shared, though.

Your secret could be an embarrassment, a trauma, something silly, what-have-you. It's an art project. It started as a hobby and now an entire community was created by it. 

Now as for the secret I read today...it was truly heartbreaking. People never grow up. Mean people will remain mean people forever, it seems. It's unfortunate. Sure, we don't know the background story on the person who submitted the card...but just reading those words cuts like a knife. 

Frank has published a handful of books containing secrets that were mailed in over the many years. Sometimes people will go to a bookstore, look at one of his books and FIND a secret. It's kind of like a treasure hunt. And not all secrets are depressing--some are uplifting and full of love. You never know what you're going to read each Sunday when you visit the website. He also posts on Instagram and Twitter, for true-blooded fans. 

If you're interested and would like to check it out for yourself, the website is www.postsecret.com

And if you're feeling bold, you can even SEND a secret in. Since Frank moved, the address has changed:

PostSecret
28241 Crown Valley Pkwy
#F224
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677-4442

Good luck in your secret-scouring!



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Adulting at Its Finest

I'm a very self-sufficient woman. I ask very little of others. If I don't know how to do something, I figure it out. If I need to watch a YouTube video or Google it, so be it...but I figure it out. I've always been like that. 

But I feel like once you're considered an "adult", there are certain things we should all know how to do. Important things that affect your quality of life and help you get through the days. You won't always have someone to call on/have help, so it's important to learn the basics.

So let's go over a few things we should all "know how to do" as adults:

1. Check your oil.
I'm not saying you should know how to change it ( although, I do... ), but we should all know how to check oil. You want to find your oil dipstick and pull it out. Using a rag or napkin, clean the dipstick and replace. Then pull it out again. This will show you the level of oil in your engine. If it is below the LOW line, you need to put oil in  your car. That's another task.

2. Balance a checkbook.
When I was in 5th grade, we went on a fieldtrip to learn how to deal with money. We had "jobs", got paychecks, and learned how to balance a checkbook. It was informative and, although that's as far in depth as it got, money management is a crucial thing as an adult. You need to keep track of your money! You need to understand what's coming in and what's going out. There are many free guides online you can look through but my friend and fellow blogger Ellen has a Facebook group called "Fixing Your Finances" that many have found useful.

3. Keep a calendar.
I've found it SUPER important to write. things. down. Be it an appointment or plans with a friend, if it's pre-planned it's going into my calendar. Life gets so hectic these days that it's hard to balance everything. I just started utilizing my iPhone calendar about 2 years ago...before that, I liked to write everything down. But Calendar gives you notifications and reminders to help you. 

4. SAVE!
Save money when you can! You never know when your car is going to break down or your fridge is gonna take a shit. Big expenses can cause big headaches when you aren't prepared. For over a decade now, I have put my income tax and any bonuses I get straight into my savings account. It's "extra money" to me, so I set it aside for the unexpected. Plus, I save a certain amount from each paycheck as often as I can. I've come into some situations where I needed a larger sum of money at one time and having a nest egg is muy importante. 

5. Doing laundry.
It baffles me how many "adults" don't know how to do simple tasks like laundry. I was doing my own laundry in high school; if you can't operate a washer/dryer, that's ridiculous IMO. It's not difficult AT ALL, and even a simple YouTube video can show you how to do it. When you move out on your own, you can't just run to mommy asking her to do your laundry all the time. Learn how to use the laundromat. Get a rental with a washer/dryer included. C'mon people; it's common knowledge.

6. Change a tire.
Look, the first time I changed a tire, it was under undesirable circumstances...but I did it. I drove on that tire from the Camp Hill off-ramp to the Sheetz on the Pike ( if you know the area, you will realize the distance ) Then I proceeded to use the manufacturers jack to lift my car and change my tire. It was crappy. But, I did it. It's important to know how to do things like this, especially in the world we live in: we either get no help at all, or sometimes it's scary to let strangers help. Especially if you're a woman...in the dark...by yourself. 

7. Shoot a gun.*
*disclaimer: this is just personal opinion, only.
I feel like as a woman in 2019, you need to know how to protect yourself. I learned to shoot guns years ago after dating a couple of guys who liked to shoot. I feel like it's a skill that's important to have. I do not currently carry, but I want to. We have a right to protect ourselves from violence, rape, etc. 

8. Cook.
If you're on your own now, you should know how to make something more than a microwave dinner. Cooking is not that hard. It's all about temperature and timing. Following the box directions; get recipes. It may be harder to catch on for some, but practice makes perfect. Follow the instructions word-for-word and start simple...maybe pastas first. Vegetables. And work your way to meats. 

9. Talk on the phone.
Yes, I know...we all dread it anymore. But we need to be able to make a simple phone call to schedule an appointment, inquire about information and ask questions. I used to not be able to even call to order a pizza without feeling awkward. Now, I need to call places like the insurance company and the bank and the cell phone company. I guess what I'm saying is--you need to learn to communicate. And not always via email or text message. You need to be able to place a professional call and do what needs done when it needs done. 

10. Stop while you're ahead.
Let's face it--some people you can't get through to. No matter how much you argue or make valid points, you are "wrong". It happens. As you age, you learn that some things aren't worth the energy. Why bother? It doesn't matter what you say or do, it's not going to change that persons mind. It's only going to make things worse. Stop and evaluate the situation and who it involves; is it worth the argument? Honestly...

I can probably list a dozen more things, but currently this is all I could think of. LOL. I feel like these are some important things to know as an adult. You may have knowledge of some, or all, or maybe none...but I recommend if "none" was the answer to that, you should start learning. Stimulate your brain, grow as a person and realize that when you're pushing 30 it's time to get on the ball and be responsible for important things in your life; be it your money, your car or simply your attitude. 






Monday, August 19, 2019

com.mu.ni.ca.tion ( noun )

Communication is key for any relationship, be it romantic or otherwise. It helps form boundaries, and says, "This is what I won't put up with in said relationship!" It puts all the cards on the table as far as wants, needs, and future goals. I feel it's super important to have good communication with those you love...but I also feel like it's a big hurdle for a lot of people.

I can be quite curt when it comes to communicating. Usually it's due to the fact that I feel like a lot of my relationships end up not having healthy communication. I agree that part of the issue is me; I assume that it will be taken negatively, so I just don't speak up. Or it's because it's been discussed and nothing has changed. I don't like being ignored, and I don't like being taken for granted. When I bring something up to you that's important to me, if you love me, I expect it to be important to you.

It's another reason why I don't have many solid friendships, and the friendships I do have can also still be toxic. There's a fine line between coming across as caring and coming across as cruel if communication sucks in the relationship. 

When communication lacks in a relationship, a lot of resentment can occur.

Resentment: 
noun
  1. bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.

I've ended a few relationships due to lack of communication that eventually became resentment. This pertains to friendships and romantic relationships. You need to be on the same page as the people you surround yourself with. I don't want to party and hang around a bunch of drunks or druggies; that's not my scene. If it's yours, that's fine...it's your prerogative. But I'm responsible with my money. I enjoy traveling. I like the outdoors and going swimming/hiking/kayaking. I'd rather spend money on experiences instead of objects. Sometimes I like to be alone. I want to eat lunch by myself. I want to do yoga without the TV on, and I want to be able to take a walk by myself. I want to write and create. I don't always want to talk. I want to have a house of my own someday. I want to adopt animals. I want to have a healthy romantic relationship. I want more close friends. I want to form bonds with males and females alike...strong bonds with like-minded, down-to-earth people. I want people to feel they can come to me and trust me. I want to bond with people without alcohol. I want a simple, healthy lifestyle.

And if you're not on the same page, then I need you to vacate my life. 

I don't want to live resenting the people I have in my life; no one should. It's not a good way to live. So if you need to communicate things to me, do so. Of course try to approach things in a kind manner, but I understand that sometimes frustration doesn't always allow for that. I am human--I understand that I'm not perfect. I'm indecisive, sensitive, stubborn, distant at times, quiet, too talkative, have RBF, change my mind constantly, anxious, depressed, negative, overweight, a bore, etc. I know these things about myself. But I seek therapy. I take my medications. I try to give people numerous chances before I give up on them. I try to communicate my needs to people, sometimes at the expense of their feelings because I need to be honest with my true self. And when behaviors don't change, I leave...for my own well-being. Because once resentment settles in, it's hard to bounce back from that.

The only person who can change you...is you. You can't look for others to "make you a better person". You can't *wish* to do better at something if you're not willing to put in the effort to change it. Changed behaviors, changed thought patterns, changed routine. It's scary, but if you want to have healthy relationships you need to look deep within yourself, become more self-aware and fix the things that need fixed before it ruins something really good in your life.

I may not be perfect, but I take pride in the fact that I am a hard worker, a caring girlfriend and a non-judgmental friend. I may not always like some decisions, but when it comes to certain behaviors I know that my purpose is to support and not reprimand. I will say my say my piece if need be, but I won't walk away from a friend in need. It's caused me much heartache in the past, but I can't make other friends suffer due to others shitty behavior.

PsychCentral wrote a good article to help with healthy communication. I suggest reading it, but the 9 steps they listed are:
1. Stop and listen.
2. Force yourself to hear.
3. Be open and honest.
4. Pay attention to non verbal signals.
5. Stay focused on here and now.
6. Try to minimize emotion when talking about important, big decisions.
7. Be ready to cede ( give up ) an argument.
8. Humor and playfulness can help.
9. Communicating is more than just talking.

It is important to say what you need to say to change not-so-great behaviors that are affecting your daily life. No one should have to be surrounded by something or someone that makes them unhappy more often than not. You shouldn't have to make excuses for "bad behavior", because if someone wants to be in your life and you've spoken of your issues, those should be important to them. They should make an earnest try to fix the problem, not just sweep it under the rug or hope you forget about it. You don't forget about it, and when it comes back...it's twofold. That's where resentment starts to breed. 

I've always thought that it's better to be alone that surrounded with things that make you unhappy. No one should have to live a life like that. And yes, it's hard sometimes to assert yourself or speak your truth, but you have to. You have to set boundaries. You have to voice your thoughts. You have to show people that you won't accept any behavior than that that you deserve.

"Do no harm, but take no shit."


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Coryn is Mine!

Yesterday, I bit the bullet...

...I paid off my car.

This was my first car payment ever. Originally, my grandparents had gotten me a '96 Geo Prizm in high school. This was to allow me to get a job. I was told I needed to only pay the insurance monthly. 

That car lasted me 9 years. 

Then in 2013, when my car needed work that would cost more than the vehicle was even worth, I decided to have my dad come with me and I bought my current car.

Since my credit was good, I was able to extend my loan so that my monthly payments were around $200...not bad, I know. I didn't get anything fancy like navigation or push-to-start; I just wanted basic and reliable.

Well while I was in Texas, M&T Bank sent me my bill with a payoff balance. I sat on it for a few weeks, deciding if it was worth the extra money/one less bill a month. And last night, when I got home from work, I called M&T and made my very last payment of $2088.37. 

It gave me a mini heart attack ( I don't enjoy spending large sums of money all at one time like that ) but now, I have one less worry a month and my car is MINE. 

I have no desire to upgrade. I have no desire to get another car payment. I run my cars until they can't run anymore. I've had 2 vehicles in my life and I feel like if you've got a good thing, be grateful and leave it be. 

Also, this should hopefully boost my credit score. Less debt-to-income ratio. 

So yeah, just me updating about myself "adulting" and such. NBD. 👍


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Gratefulness 2.0

I think I've written about this before, but I need to write about it again--because I need the reminder, and I think many others do, also.

We as humans are pretty much programmed to focus on the negative: what we don't have, how we don't look, what we can't afford, what we see other people get. Be it materialistic items or otherwise, we seem to only worry about the things we DON'T have. 

We don't focus on what we do.

Life is fucking hard, guys. It's no picnic. Some days I'm defeated so badly I just want to quit. But I don't. Because I can't. And although life is hard, we have little control over it. Things cost money. Education costs money. Experiences cost money ( be it travel, lodging, gas, etc ) Money is the root of all evil, no lie. People kill others for money...that's how important money is. How does one live a decent life without income? 

What we don't look at is the fact that if you have a job, you're lucky. Look at all the homeless veterans roaming the streets because they can't find work. Living paycheck to paycheck is no cup of tea, but that's why you should learn budgeting/money management no matter WHAT age you are. If you want to live a happier, less-stressful life, your first goal should be to live within or below your means. Money doesn't buy happiness...it buys less stress, but it can also cause more. It depends or how you look at it. 

Look at social media. The women portrayed on those pages show perfect bodies and perfect lives--living "the lifestyle" with their big boobs and tight skin, expensive drinks and tiny dogs. Teenage girls look at that and cry. Women like ME look at that and cry. 

But are they healthy? Are they happy? Do you have your health, even though you may carry a few extra pounds? Are they even good people?...just because you're heavyset doesn't make you a bad person. At all. Society has screwed us all into believing that to be beautiful, you must be thin. When in reality, to be beautiful...you must be kind. 

Sometimes the burden of being a good person is that no one appreciates it. So why don't you start to appreciate it for yourself?

My life could be far worse. I could be working for minimum wages, more than 5 days a week and have to work evenings or weekends ( something I would prefer not to do ) I could be homeless. I could have no friends at all. I could be talent-less and cruel. I could be 500 lbs or struggle to gain weight/ have anorexic/bulimic. My mental illnesses could be worse: narcissistic personality, sociopath, bipolar.  BUT I DON'T. 

And for that, I am thankful.

I have a job that pays well for someone who only went to tech school. I work M-F, daylight, with no weekends or on-call. I work and make a living.

I am overweight, but my health is good. Aside from my anxiety/depression, my blood panels come back fine and my doctor never discusses my weight like it's a health concern.I am healthy.

I get annoyed easily, but I would do anything for anyone. Not out of obligation, but because I genuinely want people to be safe and have someone they can trust without fear of  judgement. I am nice.

I am grateful have these 3 things: a job, my health, and my kindness.

Per my sisters suggestion, I downloaded the Gratitude app for my phone. Each day you are to write at least one thing you were grateful for. You can also add your own affirmations to review when you need them, and set reminders to write what you're grateful for or remind you to reflect on the good things. Even when I don't have my phone-in-pocket, my iWatch will bring up my notifications to remind me. Although I haven't been consecutively consistent, I've been trying to make it a goal to write in it as much as I can. Even if it's "I'm grateful for the sunshine."

Having mental health conditions usually only make the negativity worse, so the first step in getting better is to try to change that mindset. By making a conscious decision to write/say what you are grateful for, you are slowly changing the way your brain thinks. 

Positivity is something we all could work on. I know I desperately need to. So I challenge you to write down three things you are grateful for in the comments, on your Facebook or out loud to someone. Take a step towards less negativity in your life. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Yee-Haw!

Anxiety and flying; they are a horrible mixture. And if you know me well enough, you know that I flew to Fort Worth, Texas to visit Mallory last week. 

This was the first time I navigated an airport/flew entirely by myself. The worst part wasn't even the flight; the worst part is the anxieties BEFORE the flight--would I get to my terminal on time? What happens if TSA stops me? What if I miss my plane? Etc, etc. So unfortunately, because of my chronic anxiety, I had a stomach ache the entire time I was there.

Even so, I didn't let it ruin my mini-vacation.


The first day I was there, we went for mani/pedis at her local nail salon. I had an organic pedicure and they redid my ratchet nails. It was a little more than I was expecting to pay, but luckily that trip was my most expensive endeavor those 4 days. We then stopped at a rummage sale and I got some crystals and we visited a palm reader! That was an experience in itself. LOL. Then we came home, hung out, ordered some Five Guys and just chilled. I was so jet-lagged from the anxiety of the flight that I was ready to hit the hay pretty early ( given that they are also an hour behind PA time )

The second day, we woke up and went antiquing at the Montgomery Street Antique Mall and ate at their little tea room. I had an amazing turkey, mushroom and cheddar sandwich with a cup of potato soup. It was DELISH! We then checked out the consignment shops around and I stopped at a Texas Ross ( which is exactly the same as a PA Ross ) Then we came and grabbed up Tim and headed to Chuy's for dinner. That place is heaven!...great Mexican food, the best queso I've ever had AND dog pictures EVERYWHERE! 



The third day we ended up checking out The Stockyards. Apparently, this is the strip that Walker, Texas Ranger was recorded. They have a few Texan shops and bars so we got a little buzzed and walked around the area. We took an Uber home ( just to be safe ) and ordered Applebees through Grub Hub for dinner. 




My last day was a lazy day. We ended up hanging around until closer to my flight. It was also Mallory's birthday, but since they were amidst a move to NYC it was more hectic than anything. We ended up eating at a really cute Italian place on the way to the airport and I got a DELICIOUS carbonara at Cane Rosso. They had a full bar there but I did not partake due to the fact that the night before I had a good amount of alcohol. HAHA!


Also on my trip I had my first experience at In-N-Out. OMG...so good! The burger was delicious. I wasn't too keen on the fries but I'm picky about my papas fritas. LOL. I like thin and crispy fries, and they carry steak-fries ( at least that's the closest comparison )


Oh, and two words: SUPER TARGET!

All in all, Texas is a lot like Pennsylvania--rude people, hot and bad traffic. I didn't do much as far as "sightseeing" as there wasn't anything I was really into like that. I didn't really care about the cowboy museum or anything pertaining to the war, so we just kinda did things I'd do on a normal day here...with some slight variations. 

But now I've finally flown 100% by myself, and successfully. 

Here's to hoping for many more a trip!