Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I wore

At some point, someday, I imagine that I might feel like an adult. I’ve been trying for years. When I was a teenager, I was convinced there would be some magical sensation at the point of turning 18 years old, that would make me feel free and invulnerable. If you’ve read this blog, you must know that that feeling never happened. It’s come in clips and phrases over my life, trickling in when it can, but I still don’t feel like an adult, most of the time.

This morning, I realized I was narrating my life in my head again. I often wonder if this is a curse that other writers (not sure I still identify as one, though I’d like to…does this count as “writing”?) suffer/enjoy. I find that my narrative would probably be most accessible to teenaged girls, which only serves to make me feel even less grown up.

But also, this morning, I heated up some bone broth. I sipped some tea. I made an omelette in my cast iron pan. I cleaned and put away some dishes. I did it all in my two bedroom apartment that I share with my boyfriend and overweight cat. I did it all before leaving for my full-time job on the scooter that I paid for. I am definitely still growing, and I don’t think I should ever stop, but if that’s not adult-life, I don’t know what is.

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What I wore (best friend’s wedding): French Connection Ribbon-knit dress (a couple seasons old), pumps from Payless (gift), pashmina scarf (gift), thrifted pendant (owned for a long time), old earrings (gift).

The outfit cost me $60 for the dress (50% off at TJ Maxx), basically. It was definitely worth the splurge (not that it was THAT expensive, just that I should not have spent the money). I felt and looked DAMN sexy. We had a blast and I’m so glad that I got to go.

Before anyone tells me that pink hair is not very “adult”, just go look at this amazing woman (who happens to be a writer).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Changing it up

There are many things in life that benefit from regular changes. Forms and strains of probiotics, exercise and any other kind of training routine, and sometimes, diet. I’ve been having some really terrible digestive issues for the past couple of months. I’ve seen the doctor, but I’m still having a really hard time with the symptoms. Fortunately, I got back Friday. I really like my doctor’s approach, which is rather holistic, and very in-line with how I prefer to operate nutritionally and with dietary supplements. It’s really great to know that a health professional fully supports my use of amino acids for depression and anxiety, especially when I don’t usually trust doctors very much.

So, here’s a snippet of my life right now: I usually eat in a way that is very much in line with a paleolithic diet. I used to eat dairy, but don’t seem to tolerate it anymore (this makes me very sad because my homemade yogurt was the bomb). Basically, I eat fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, and nuts. Bam. Pretty simple, right? But not boring at all! Now, nothing seems to sit well with me. There are issues with my gut that seem beyond what just good food can help. I’m looking into following a kind of GAPS protocol, which can be really beneficial for gut problems, as well as some behavioral/mental issues. It could be likened to a “cleanse”, but unlike most, is actually very good for you. The first stage is just eating homemade stock and bone broth! I really need to read the book to comment on it more, but overall, I could definitely go with more bone broth in my life.

Generally speaking, I think I will benefit the most from stress reduction. I’ve got my mood-support supplements worked out right now, so that’s good. I’m working on socializing more and making more time for a life outside of work, so that’s good. But even as much as I love eating what I eat, I feel stressed out by it sometimes, especially when other aspects of my life are stressing me out. Much like I recently decided to free myself from some of the burdens of financial responsibility, I am looking to do that with my diet as well. This is only temporary: my health, as tenuous as it is right now, cannot stand for me to eat donuts all day long or pizza every night. It’s tempting, even after all this time, but I know how terrible I would feel, physically, after eating those things. For this week, my freedom will be making some cookies, eating more white rice, and enjoying some alcohol at a wedding.

Let me be clear: I’m not “on a diet”. If I follow-through with GAPS, yes, I will see that as a temporary dietary framework in order to exact certain results. My everyday way of eating is just how I eat. Before my gut got messed up, I felt overall pretty great. I think I was close to fitting my definition of healthy. It’s hard not to view this as a setback, but I’m still learning a lot and that makes it worth it, somehow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Learning to prioritize–budget

After writing off and on about my budgeting practices for probably the last year or so (I know that’s how long I’ve been tracking my spending, anyway), I’m ready for a break. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve trained myself to obsessively track every expenditure and I’m incredibly stressed out as a result. It’s not worth it!

This is going to be very hard for me, but I’m going to stop tracking my finances altogether for a while. I’ll login to my bank account to keep an eye on things and make sure I’m not running out of cash, or to see if I need to move some money between accounts, but my “expenses” Excel spreadsheet is getting temporarily retired. I don’t like that I fret over these things every single day, and that I feel like I don’t know how to get by without doing that. Maybe I will finish off this month, just to end things cleanly, but I need to live a little (I can always go back through my statements to see how much we spent on groceries)! Maybe it’s time to just say screw it and get my eyebrow pierced again. Or buy some extra hair dye. Or some new shoes. It feels silly to restrict myself from buying things like this. Hell, I’d love a new fashionable winter coat to replace my 10-year-old pea coat!

I’m not throwing caution to the wind. I’m still going to hunt for the best deals and use coupons when I can (for example: my preferred brands of cat food and cat litter are 15% and 20% off at Unleashed until the 20th, and I also have a $5 off $25 or more coupon), but if I want something, I’m probably going to get it. I’m not sure how to handle prioritization with this new approach, however. I’m still inclined to tell myself “don’t spend more than x on frivolous things per month”, as that would ensure that I don’t get close to running out of money at any point. I can’t say for sure that there’s no way that wouldn’t happen. I don’t like unknowns.

Sweet, now I can pre-order a book I’ve been looking forward to!

Maybe I won’t do this for long. Maybe it’s just to get some things I’ve been thinking/dreaming about, then I’ll go back to my fairly strict spending habits and I’ll feel fine about it. I’m probably still going to use money as a reason to not buy or do things, but I’ll also be buying things for myself. Either way, I feel like I’ve had some stress released by this decision and I can only hope it works out the way that I want it to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Link & project idea

  • The Dainty Squid – Holy adorable blog, Batman! I am not even sure how I found this. I think I saw a picture of her hair on tumblr. She even has a nice write-up on how to properly dye and care for unnaturally shaded hair. Kinda makes me think about trying to fix mine, since it’s multiple shades of pink, and the most vivid spots are on under-layers and totally unseen. Boo. She also reminded me of my love for strange cameras. I wonder if I should just start collecting them, when I encounter them at thrift stores and such. I’ve never had a collection before.

I still can’t make up my mind about having pink or purple hair for my friend’s wedding next week! Sneak peak of the dress, and to be clear, it is a dark purple. Thoughts? Purple feels more appropriate for the coming cold months, but I still haven’t achieved the shade of pink I’ve been aiming for.

History in journals

After talking about my varied moods in therapy last Friday, I was feeling really optimistic, despite all the negativity I’ve been afflicted with recently. I have a huge number of handwritten journals, dating back through middle school, and several online journals, dating back to my freshman year in high school. I started re-reading some of the online journals, which I don’t think I’ve ever done. It’s really interesting seeing the correlations between my irrational moods then and now. I’m not sure what I’d get out of it, but I think I’d like to collect all my journals and start going through them chronologically. Part of me wants to find some key to my depression, maybe pinpoint when/how things changed for me in my thought process. I don’t think I’ll find an answer, but it might be enlightening to refresh my faded memories of that time in my life. I don’t remember much from ages 13-18.

If I do go through with this project, I think I’d start a second blog to document the process. I’d probably catalogue my investigations by various date ranges and maybe come up with some evaluation questions to go through every semester/season, or year.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pros of shopping online

I am often on the hunt for ways to save money, and while I don’t do that much “extra” shopping right now, for anything beyond essential grocery items, I usually buy everything online. Enter ebates.com (clicking this link and signing up will get me a referral bonus, full disclosure)!

For affiliated sites and qualified purchases, you can earn a small percentage of cash back for anything you buy online! This even works for major sites like Amazon. I personally have only used it for Vitacost (also a referral link), so far, so I’ve only got about $.26 from the site, but hey, maybe it will add up in a year or two. My first purchase within a couple months of signing up means I get a $10 Target gift card, which I am hoping to put towards some decent dress shoes. Too bad Payless wasn’t an option. The process seems very slow, overall, but since it’s free, I figure it’s worth it. So far, I’m just having a hard time remembering to go to Ebates before I visit other sites (this logs the session so Ebates knows you’ve made qualifying purchases).

The other site I’ve been trying to use is Top CashBack (another referral link), and it works the same as Ebates. They even have some overlapping qualified sites, like Kohls, Gap, and Newegg.

I totally had a reason for writing this post, and now I can’t remember for the life of me.

Here, these are some shoes I like. I’m weird.

 

*This is not a paid blog post, I’m just sharing my enthusiasm for ways to make savings online!*

*and shoes I like. Whatever.*

Thursday, October 11, 2012

General mood update

I’m going to write really candidly about my depression and anxiety here. It’s funny that just a couple of days ago, writing this would have made me burst into tears or fear stern judgment or rejection from friends (or even strangers). Today, I think, “What if this knowledge will help someone?” and “screw the consequences!”

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Visiting Witch City

As I often do, I was thinking about what I'd like this blog to be again recently and I realized I don't really talk about my life in general that much anymore. Maybe that is interesting to some people? Maybe it would be good for my brain to write this kind of stuff out more. I don't know. Well, here it is.

I've been massively depressed lately. I like the sound of that: massively. Anyway, it sucks, I'm barely managing most days, and the anxiety is awful. But I'm alive, I'm going to work (...mostly), and I'm getting up every morning, so that's good. My gut has been rebelling against me for a couple of months now, I think. It's hard to keep track anymore. The details are icky so I'll spare you all, but I'm basically at the point of "I've tried everything!!!" and I've even been to the doctor.

Yeah. Me. I know.

Today, I went to Salem with a friend I met online many years ago. It's a lot less sketchy than it sounds, and besides, we've met in person a few times over the years. She's a cool gal and brought me some artwork. It's very colorful and I am envisioning it in the kitchen.

Ah, yes, and her friend came too. He was nice, and wore cool rings. I kind of wish we'd all had more time to sit down and chat, like over dinner or something, but I had a good time poking around in the shops and giggling over strange labels and spell baggies and such. Visiting places like Salem, chock full of "magick" shops, pendulums and pentacles, herbs, candles, incense, and general mysticism really revives some of my deep, dark, and most secret desires. One is punk or gothic fashion (hence the gloves I bought), the other is my interest in the aesthetic qualities of a New Age lifestyle. I am a sucker for colored glass baubles. I'm also a sucker for stores full of books of magic and Witchcraft. Seriously. The 16-year-old in me wants to spend hundreds of dollars on books I will read once and get nothing out of (except maybe a renewed interest in discovering my spirituality), but both she and I know that that money is needed to have a tolerable Winter.

I got some smartphone friendly gloves, a shot glass, and some small candles. I'm out of matches (but good thing I have a gas stove?).

Monday, October 01, 2012

Links worth following

  • For the feminine-fashion inclined, check out Obsequies! I’ve been following this lovely lady’s creations for several years now. I have never yet remembered to peruse her offerings when I have the spare cash, but I still have my eye on that adorable sunflower skirt (or one of her many amazing Hallowe’en items).

  • For the meat-lovers out there, this is an easy giveaway worth entering! Quality meats for free? Even if my chances are low, I’ll take it! Plus, the US Wellness Newsletter always has interesting health and food-related articles.

Delicious

Um. Yeap. That’s all I got.

Welcome to October, 2012.

Time for a general life update and such. Mostly boring. Carry on.

Being a goon at work

It’s officially October and I’m starting my month off wearing a sweater and with freshly pinked hair. I don’t think it’s quite as light as it appears in this photo. I used Ion Color Brilliance in Fuchsia. I think I’d like to try Magenta next time, which is a little darker, but I want to see how this brand fades out. I have another tube of this color that I can use for touching up before the wedding I’m attending later this month. I definitely  need a trim in the back.

Good news: 4 years ago, I got the wrong prescription on a pair of glasses, and today, it’s exactly the right prescription. I only have to pay for new lenses now if I want to! That’s saving me $50-200, depending on whether I would have tried out coastal.com or gotten new lenses in my last frames, from Pearl Vision.

A new page is started on my budgeting spreadsheet. I’m trying not to think too actively just yet about how my money needs to be spent this month. At some point in the next week or two, I’ll schedule to have our oil tank filled (one more thing to tick off my list of “things that make me feel like a real, responsible adult) and that will be one massive weight off my mind. I failed at putting up any of the plastic wrap stuff on the windows this weekend, only because the special double-stick tape we had was too told to peel off the second side. And laziness. But I’m allowed to be lazy on a Sunday.

In other news, I miss yogurt. Damn you, sudden lactose intolerance. We’re going on over a month now of GI issues, I think. I’ve got a game plan from the doctor, but it’s still a lot of waiting for my body to decide it can function properly again. Judging by the amount of Vitamin C I need to take to make things work properly (up to ~3.2g every 4 hours), we are not close to functional yet.