Emotional Constipation

It’s frowned upon to be overly emotional. It’s expected to be proper and polite. Maybe those descriptors dont’ have quite the same meeting as they did for our parents, but they still apply. The way you act in public is much more put together than in our homes. (to my dismay)

The biggest change in public versus being at home, is the emotional restraint that we are expected to have. I admit, I have a personal rule, never to cry at work. My boss can be unthoughtful and rude but I keep it together and cry about it later. “Don’t show weakness.”

When you bottle up those feelings.. it’s often hard to find the right time to express them. You become so full inside that you are “constipated.” You are then in danger of becoming an ice queen, becoming dead inside, if you don’t learn to appropriately release your feelings or even just allow yourself to feel them.

I have a solution, and I have a tell for when I need some help. When I’m crying at commercials and the tears are welling up over every little thing; then I know that I need to release some pressure. Release the Kracken!

My Solution: Find a movie that moves me. A movie that makes me cry and helps me to release all those bottled up emotions. A few of my favorites: The Cure, Beaches, Safe Haven, Ramona and Beezus, Fried Green Tomatos, Howl’s Moving Castle, PS I love you, Sunshine Cleaning, Monuments Men… and so many more. Each of these make me cry for a different reason, but the emotional release is beautiful and much needed.

An example: Ramona and Beezus. That movie makes me cry because I can relate and feel the pain of Ramona feeling left out, alone, stranger than others. Feeling like you can’t do anything right. We all feel that from time to time. It’s ok to feel that, as long as you get back up stronger and ready to embrace being yourself. NO ONE is perfectly alike. Even idential twins have different personalities and quirks and love/hate different things. We shouldn’t ever have to feel like we are robots and the same as anyone else. Another rant for another day.

The important message here is that we continue to feel what we need to feel. That it’s a natural human necessity to release our emotions. It’s acceptable and wonderful to cleanse ourselves of the bottled up stress, sadness, frustration, and yes anger. (sometimes I find that working out is a better release for the anger and frustration. Another post for another time.) After I have completed sobbed and cried while watchign a movie, I feel amazing. I feel ight. I’m ready again to go out into the world and stand tall.

My next steps are to take a shower or bath, and get myself something luxurious to eat. Something that I might consider a treat, to spoil myself. To let my subconscious know that I’m well and it’s a healhty ritual to take care of myself and release such feelings that are sometimes looked down upon.

I implore you to take care of yourselves, even if you may feel embarressed. Self care may be the most important part of living a full and happy life. I wish this for you all.

Side note: please leave comments on thoughts and comments. Even some suggested subjects to talk about. I want to talk about all the things society doesn’t talk about. I’m finding in my 30’s that’s a great many things. There isn’t a manual for living, but information is power and if we feel like part of a community instead of standing alone, then that is incredible.

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If I won the lottery

Everyone has this dream. What would you do if you won the lottery?

I’ve thought about it long and hard… probably too much.

  1. I wouldn’t stop working. I just wouldn’t work at the job I have now. I would start a company and work for myself. Not sure what company that would be yet. In reality, it would be something I started with the help of my family, so I would use their input for a concept. I have the business smarts but not one clear passion to follow. Other than my writing. I would take a sabbatical and get a cabin somewhere beautiful and remote and write for a couple months. Very cliche of me 🙂
  2. I would share. I have several amazing friends and a truly wonderful family that I couldn’t love more. (Yes we fight sometimes and annoy each other, but we love each other and support one another.) I would give them each a certain amount of “cash” into their bank accounts to pay off debt and have some fun; the rest would be put into trusts so that the money is protected and distributed at a reasonable pace. The hardest part of this would be choosing who to give money to and how secretly I could do that. Not everyone can have money or it would dry up fast (see MC Hammer for example). It would be the people who really struggle, the ones who took the path less traveled, either by choice or by the Universe’s doing. All of my immediate family would receive trusts and money. I would pay for both of my nephew’s college tuition.
  3. I would take a long vacation to see other cultures. Then buy a house that is hidden with a huge gate. It would be enough land so that my family could all build homes on the same property. (My mom and brother drew up plans over lunch one day.) Then I could filter out the first few years of people asking me for money. Of course, I must insert that I would not claim the money in my name but in an LLC. This would help to limit the amount of sob stories written to me personally. I know that lots of people struggle and I would do what I could to help but not everyone is true. LOTS of people make up sob stories to live off of others OR they don’t take any personal responsibility. I get up every day and go to a job that is not something I love, take shit from my boss, and pay all my bills. It’s not fun or easy but I do it…. and then I dream of winning the lottery.large
  4. I would pay off all of my own debt. Student loans and medical debt. I think that’s all that I have right now as I have been working REALLY hard to pay off debt. However, student loans are crushing! I would buy a car outright but only pay for half of my dream house and finance the rest so that I would have good credit.
  5. If I won the super large lottery, I would set up a scholarship for adults going back to school. It’s the hardest thing and it’s so expensive on top of everything else you’re paying for, and if you have kids then it’s soul crushingly scary to acquire that much debt. (Trust me though, it’s worth it to have your degree! It opens so many more job opportunities. I’m working on mine now and I am so happy that I’m finally able to do it.)

I’m pretty sure that would do it. I would always be sure to donate to the most deserving charities, to help others, and hopefully take care of myself and my family. I want myself and my family to have more comfortable lives. It’s a dream… one that I hope comes true.

And MAYBE I’ll finish that book, or my blog will become famous and I can do all of the above anyway.

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Get your shit together

Ok, so this is an ongoing topic for me. I NEVER seem to have anything together for longer than 5 minutes. I am starting to truly believe that, as humans, we will never have it all together until a few nanoseconds before death when the planets align perfectly and we’re at peace enough to move on. Seriously.

 

Finances

This is the toughest thing in my life. There’s never enough money to go around. Student loan debt is soul crushing… and I haven’t finished my bachelor’s degree. I’m desperately trying to save for a house so that I can get out of the place I currently reside in. (I’m convinced that the ‘natural hardwood’ floors in the kitchen are going to cave in at any moment. AND I am trying to live a normal American life with fun things, new outfits, and going out to eat with my friends and BF. Solution: I’ve signed up for Dave Ramsey’s ‘Every Dollar’ app. (the Free version) I’ll keep you posted on how that goes for me. I’ve also decided to try selling my wares on Etsy… even though their fees scare me. (Amazon.com’s fees were too much for small items and didn’t make sense financially. I think I was actually paying people to take my used books.)

Relationship

This one is going pretty good. Thanks to my amazing besties! We have a constant group chat going. just the three of us. We ask questions and support eachother. This helps a girl like me who isn’t sure about how relationships work…healthy ones anyway 😉 I can’t say enough amazing things about these two girls. Having other women who support you and help you in life is EPIC. Solution: Supportive women in your life. If you don’t have them, go seek them out! This is crucial to living right. period.

Work

OK, this one is tougher. It’s all about  mental attitude. Work sucks. It just does. MOST of us hate our jobs, we just have to figure out how much shit we are willing to take for the $$ we are being paid. Solution: Get a Pinterest page and FILL it with inspiration to keep you moving. (I’ll share mine with you guys soon) Make lists, the more you feel like you are accomplishing, the more you will feel like you’re making a difference in whatever you do.

Everything Else

Just keep moving. Keep moving forward. Keep your head up. Keep yourself engaged in positive relationships. You have to be accountable for your life. Period. (If you need help, ask for it. There are resources out there and kind people who want to help others. It takes some searching, but good people are out there.) You’re the only one in it. You truly are the center of your own Universe and it’s up to you to boot out the negative/bad shit and bring in the good stuff. (Please don’t take that to mean that bad stuff never happens. It does. It very much does. You just have to hold your head high and move on so that the bad shit doesn’t hold you under and drown you.) Life is short, take advantage of all the wonderful things it has to offer.

I’m not sure any of this is helpful to anyone except as therapy for me 😉 Thanks for letting me get all that out. And maybe, just maybe, it will help some reader to know that they aren’t the only one. There are millions of us out there. Struggling to keep it together long enough to post a pic on FB and fool the public into thinking we’re not actually held together with duct tape, spit, and some gum. #MacGyver life.

Alpha Gal

Cool title right? Nope, not really. Kind of a HUGE game changer for my life. After a very long period of upset stomachs and inconsistent bowels, my allergist diagnosed me with an Alpha Gal allergy. (the funny part is that I was seeing other doctors for those problems, and went to the allergist for snoring and frequent sinus infections) What does this mean? It means that I was bitten by a tick, or a few, a long time ago and now my body no longer processes anything mammalian. Shit. Anything.

I haven’t had red meat in years because I knew I had an allergy to beef and pork due to a trip to the lovely ER. Twice. (Buffalo is not a suitable replacement for beef. Which at the time made sense because I thought it was a cow allergy.) So the big part is out of the way: no burgers, no steak, no hot dogs, nada red meat for this chica (or the other white meat). I also have replaced milk with almond milk and try to avoid the obvious things with milk in them because I had a milk allergy as a a baby and knew it was a sensitive thing for me. Mostly I just avoided anything pure milk, but would indulge in anything that was cooked. Or chocolate.chocolate-facts

The hard part is giving up BUTTER!!! It’s in basically everything. And Milk. Trying to figure out what desserts I can have is going to be tough. I’m going to have to get creative…especially for a chocolate fix! Maybe some dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter? OR cooked fruits with sugar? I’m unsure right now how that’s gonna go. Plus! My allergist tells me that many gummy candies actually have some beef or pork gelatin in them. . . Oh Lord, not the twizzlers! I’m gonna have to research that one for sure.

The second hardest part is going to be that I am also allergic to onion and garlic. So, I have to stay away from a lot of pre-made vegetarian foods. Or even Vegan foods! My allergist said to basically stay out of the middle of the grocery store because there could be beef or pork fillers in any of it. I’m going to be forced to be a meal prepper. But I have to make it a priority for my health and to avoid the damn stomach pain I will.

And the kicker is that this diagnoses is new. There’s not a lot known about it, and everyone’s sensitivity is different. So, I have to cut out everything potentially bad, then re-introduce things one at a time to see how my body does. Unfortunately, this can be up to 12 hours after eating it!

Needless to say, this is going to be an interesting life development. I’m trying to stay positive: I’m about to lose a lot of weight, I’ll be very healthy, and maybe I’ll write a new cookbook 😉 AND I can still have seafood and poultry. THANK GOODNESS!! I love seafood and that would devastate me more than anything. Bring on the crab legs! …and join a support group! ha

Ostriching

It seems that we are finally talking about anxiety and depression and what it’s like to live with these things. Every person feels differently, about everything. And everyone stresses about different things. I am an Ostrich. Let me explain.

I’ve coined a term for what myself and one of my best friends do. We Ostrich. We get so overwhelmed with anxiety and stress that it leads to depression and then we stick our heads into the sand in order to cope. We cross our fingers that the storm will just go around us. And well, that’s not really coping is it? But it’s safe in the ground, and quiet, and no one else is there to add to what is in my head.

Eventually, I kick my own arse and pull my head out of the sand and deal with whatever is bothering me. I used to pick myself up and move. Yep, I’d move. Literally move to a new city and “start fresh.” I don’t regret any of the moves; job moves or physical moves. I’ve met some amazing people and experienced some amazing things. However, I do have healthier coping mechanisms now.

Some things that have helped me: Microsoft templates. These are so great for the financial issues. Budgeting has really helped me to take a small chunk at a time. I can set a budget for the week or month and figure how much I can pay something off. Because once I decide to do something, I want it done. Now. Small budgets and small goals are the best way to notice improvement fast. When I get lofty goals then it gets overwhelming. And life can also get in the way of sitting down to fill out a template. That’s OK, just remember the idea behind it.

Select your Tribe. I have an amazing group of friends who support me and help get me out of the house when I’ve been absent for too long. Luckily, I don’t remain absent for as long as I used to. I have felt and realized the importance of maintaining friendships. It takes TWO. One person cannot constantly put forth the effort, that’s exhausting and selfish. I have also had the pleasure of having a spectacular boyfriend who wants to spend time with me. (imagine that) Plus, my dear momma has some of the same tendencies and she’s a great resource to vent to and get a dose of reality from.

Supplements/medications. No one thing is right for any one person. However, I know that for me some natural supplements really really help me! Sam-E and Rhodiola Rosea with a B-complex help keep my system on a more even keel. I’ve tried many prescribed medications and while some help, some had some bad side effects that I didn’t want to live with. I’m not saying this combination works for everyone, it just works for me. What I am saying is that we should take the stigma away from medications. They help, and if they help you then that’s all that matters. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you should go cold turkey or be all medical free. You are the only one living inside your body and your head. You make the calls and it’s completely OK to get some help. Period. I’ll support your choice to be the best and healthiest version of yourself.

Finally: INSPIRE YOURSELF! I print little memes off the internet and put them in frames or on my fridge and look at them as I walk by or when I’m laying in bed or on the couch. I change the messages on my desktop at work to be things that motivate me to keep moving forward. I have an entire board on Pinterest of things to inspire and motivate me when I need a pick me up. I hang things up around my desk. Sometimes I sit in the morning and read an article about someone who has overcome something bigger than what I am struggling with and it helps me put my fears into perspective. Anything to put my fears and anxiety into little manageable bites that I can chomp down on and spit out! ha

Most importantly, I’ve stopped buying or eating my feelings. I used to buy myself a little something to help me out of a slump. Or get that beautiful decadent cake at the store…that I ate by myself. I am working on identifying bad habits and replacing them with healthier ones. Please don’t take this to mean that I am perfect. I am far from it. I’m a hot mess…I mean spicy array. ha But I genuinely like who I am most of the time. and that makes all the difference.  I hope this helps someone else identify themselves as an ostrich. and realize that there is a time and a place. You can sit and feel sorry for yourself for a small amount of time, then you have to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get your head back in the game, back into living life. There’s too much to do and see to waste it with your head in the ground. Trust me. I know. I struggle too.

#MeToo

Wow, I never thought two words would have so much power and impact on our world. My world. Scrolling through Facebook I realize more than ever how many other women are affected and demeaned on a regular basis by our Patriarchal society. It had become so commonplace in my world to know women who were sexually harassed. It was an “oh yeah, me too” I know that guy, he has said those things to me conversation. A regular conversation stuck between “How was your day?” and “What’s new with you?” that quickly was laughed off and moved on to “Where do you feel like going for dinner?” The outrage was restricted for severe situations of rape or harassment of a child (anyone under 18, even though you possess child-like thinking through most of your 20’s). And then the cry of rape became a “oh yeah, prove it” consequence. It was treated like the boy who cried wolf. That woman was raped, take her seriously damn it! 23 women shouldn’t all have to come forward to finally prosecute a man for rape. He should be put in prison for MANY years. Alone. Away from anyone who might sympathize with him. He didn’t sympathize with the woman he just raped. How Trump might make it illegal for her to get emergency contraceptives. How she will shy away from intimacy. How long she has to go to therapy. How she will forever be afraid to walk to her car alone. WALK. TO. HER. CAR.

I refuse to be ashamed that I was indeed embarrassed by harassment and didn’t speak out. I wasn’t sure whom to speak out to and when I was allowed to do so. My friends had experienced so many similar situations, even at work. But when your boss, the person that controls whether you eat or not, is harassing you then you aren’t sure where to go. So, you create lines in the sand; ‘I’ll say something if he ever touches me, but looking at me is OK.’ It’s not. It’s not OK for someone of power to leer at you, no matter how you are dressed. And let’s face it, these days, I’m not putting on a full face of make up most of the time, or wearing some model worthy outfit. 7AM is EARLY! And those lines were actually influenced by the naive thought that I could sue them. I’ve since realized that I can’t. It takes money to sue someone, and it comes down to a he said/she said situation. Unfortunately, the MAN with the power usually wins.

Anyway, this has become a rant. I want it to be a message of hope and empowerment. You are not alone. You are not the only one this happens to. It is NOT OK for anyone to make you feel bad. It’s just not. Life is too damn short to allow someone else to influence how you live it and put restrictions on it. Together we can stand up and make a change. Together we can support and lift each other up. A safe atmosphere of sharing and support. That’s a start. A really great start.

Imagine if we had a campaign that not only highlighted sexual harassment, but all harassment against women. Just for being women. I’ve been discriminated against, told I couldn’t do that, and even been denied a promotion because “some guy might steal me away and I got pregnant and then I wouldn’t come back to work.” Seriously, that conversation actually happened. Of course it was behind closed doors and that partner is just “older” and ‘thinks differently.’

How do we change this? I don’t have an answer right now, but I know that we need to speak about it. Make the world aware of what is happening and stop pretending that women aren’t treated as lessers in every day society. EVERY. DAY.

All my love to every strong woman who gets up every day and puts one foot in front of the other. No one knows her struggle, but maybe they soon will.

I wipe my own ass!

So, this is an actual picture from the bathroom at my work. Seriously. I can’t make this shit up.

The old man partner insisted that it be put up and that I, as office manager, have a conversation with the ladies in the office about not flushing feminine products down the toilet. I work at a CPA firm, these are intelligent women. EVERYONE knows not to flush that down the toilet. It’s just a shitty toilet (pardon the pun). It doesn’t have enough pressure or something. Just like how the breaker trips every time someone plugs in a heater to stay warm in this snow globe office. He blaims the heater, what?! That thing barely has power. Turn up the heat and no one needs to add a heater into the mix. Seriously, I never put away my winter clothes, because I need them at work. Accountants are penny pinchers to the extreme!

And we just had our annual reviews; three months late. Luckily, mine was not too bad, but I was informed that I need to help with filing… The filing is done by Hoggle and it’s about 85% of her job. (She misfiles things in the wrong file and that’s MY fault?) She’s too busy doing who knows what to do it. Or she’s too short to reach the top shelf… hello step stool. Or her knee hurts. She is taking 4+ weeks off for knee replacement surgery but has used up all of her vacation and sick time. (Two of those weeks she and her husband went on vacation with the old man river boss and his wife. To Hawaii.) FML

It’s cool, I’m not bitter or anything. I’m not stress eating junk food or anything….(Lies!) I need to finish school. It’s the only option to get out of this hell hole. Other than all of you wonderful people supporting my blog and getting me a book deal. hahaha I could blog all day and work from home writing the book I started. Maybe while Hoggle is out I will sit at the front desk and write my book.

OK, need to end on a positive note. My boyfriend and I are doing amazing. Finally! I have found a relationship and a man that I am happy with. A real partner in life. That’s the ultimate goal right? Find someone to be your partner in crime and go through the crazy with. To be crazy with. No filters needed with.