5 Things I Wished I Knew in My Twenties

When we are young we are in such a rush to grow up and be older, be an adult. When we are older we live for the days when we were young and wish we could have the knowledge we now have, but unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. We have our elders try to tell us their wisdom, but deem them as “too old to know” and “times are different now”. I remember before going to high school my mother told me “ Vita (that’s one of her special nicknames for me), you’ll make a lot of friends going to high school, but when it’s all over none of them will be your friends.” Now I don’t know if she spoke that over my life, but she was right. To this day I have less than maybe 5 friends from high school and really the ones I do have are more like family than friends. I always took what she said with a grain of salt. The friends I had going into high school were solid people then. I couldn’t imagine not being their friend. The friends I made in high school I thought would be forever, but slowly they dropped off like flies.

The people I met in college became friends for life. They are stuck with me whether they want to be or not –lol.  

I was on Facebook mindlessly scrolling, when I came across a repost that was giving some advice on things you should know while being an adult. I thought it was awesome advice, things I wish I knew at that age. – would I have listened?  Probably not, but at least I would’ve had it in times of need.

Here are 5 things I wished I knew in my twenties

1.       Finances

I was given some great tips about finances growing up, but no one ever taught me about finances. It was as if it was something I was already supposed to know. I didn’t understand the importance of it until I was flat broke; borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I treated money like it was disposable and like it would always come, because up until a certain point it did. I lived paycheck to paycheck and sometimes was flat broke with not a penny to my name the day before payday. I had no concept of balancing, budgeting, or savings. I think this is the common story for most people, especially in the black community. Either our Elders didn’t know much about finances or they failed to teach it.

I really started to get a handle on my finances later in my 20s. I began to change the way I looked at money. After researching and finding people who talked in a language I understood when it came to money, these few things  helped me: TFD on Youtube, 52 week money saving challenges, and learning how to properly budget for my income using the 50/30/20 rule, so I wasn’t living check to check.- another thing was listing out what I wanted so I wasn’t mindlessly buying

It still takes a lot of discipline for me when it comes to finances. I still slip every now and again, but I can manage it better.

2.       Education

Everyone tells you getting an education and having a degree is extremely important. Not just for income purposes, but for critical thinking life skills as well. Not every career in life requires you to have a degree, but it is nice to have to fall back on; a degree will never depreciate. College is expensive, there’s no doubt about it. When I started college in 2007 classes were about $500 a class. Now in 2021 some classes are triple that if you’re going online.

Even if you opt out of getting a degree, try for a certification or trade. Certification shows that you were trained in that job and know how to do it and it takes a lot less time than going to college. Jobs really love when someone knows how to do the job vs having to train them for the job. The key is to never stop learning, you may be good at what you do, but you can always be better!

What I wish someone would have told me is how to be smart with the loans and refund checks. I wish I would have paid the interest or at least the principle on the loan while in school. That way when I got out of school my debt wouldn’t have been as high. Or to save my refund check and use it as emergency funds while going to school, because your car will break down or you will need a little extra to cover rent one month, instead of blowing it on spring break or clothes. 

3.       Health is Wealth

I never took my health seriously. I was for the most part fit until after college. I could eat what I wanted and not worry about gaining weight-probably because I danced it all off at parties-. I was what a fitness trainer would call skinny fat. I had no muscle and could not run a mile to save my life. I went to the doctor if I was sick and that was it. It wasn’t until I started noticing I was tired all the time and generally never felt good, that I began to take a personal interest in my health.

Looking back I wish I would have taken exercising and my overall well being more seriously. I noticed that people who were physically fit at a younger age, like middle school and high school, have an easier time keeping up with staying fit than those of us who slacked off. Trying to get fit now takes a lot of discipline, a lot of tender love and care, a lot of I really don’t want to, but forcing myself to. I love how I feel after. I work at a desk all day so getting up and going for a run really loosens my body up, but working up the strength to actually go for the run and not sit on the couch and veg out or lay in the bed and take a nap that’s the hard part.-hell I’m sleepy now tying this! lol

4.       You will never have it figured all the way out, do it anyway!

Time is of the essence. This moment right now is all you have and you can not get it back.  When I was younger I thought I had all the time in the world to figure it out. What I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, the kind of life I wanted to live,  I felt I had the time to put the serious stuff off. Instead I partied and bullsh*tted.- but remember there should be a balance to everything.– After college life hits you fast! I still had no idea about any of it. I got a full time job out of necessity, but it was not what I wanted to do. In that job field, although I gained a ton of experience and learned a lot,  it wasn’t something that I was passionate about.. I didn’t have a plan, I wasn’t intentional about anything. 

Truth is you don’t have time. If 2020 has taught me anything it’s that you need a plan for longevity, but do what you can in that moment. I wish I would have been more willing to step out of my comfort zone and tried on different things to see how they fit. New experiences, different jobs, different men even, everything I did was out of comfort.  One day I looked around and realized everyone had moved on and I was still here, trying to figure it out. There was not one person’s life I wanted. Not that you should want someone’s life, but you should have people who you aspire to, and I for a moment, had no one. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying figuring it out is a bad thing, but don’t waste life away. Do what sets your soul on fire. Go and try different things on and see if they fit you. Most of us know what we want to do, we are just too scared to take the leap, too worried about what people are going to think or say, or afraid to fail. If we stop looking at failing as a negative and start looking at it as a stepping stone or a lesson on what not to do, we would be much further along.  Make the most of the time you have,  but have a plan just in case!

5.       Nobody Cares

Which brings me to my next point. When you’re young, no matter how much you say you don’t care what people think, we all know you do. It’s why you move through life the way you do. You care if your friends or family don’t support your dreams. You care if you’re not acknowledged. I wish we would stop saying that we don’t care because in some way we all do. In reality, no one should care more than you do. 

Your dreams, your passions, the things you choose to pursue are for you and nobody else. Those are the things that bring you joy and nobody else. So guess who is going to care about those things? Only you. Self-doubt, especially for an artist, stems from your fears of how you will be perceived or what people will think and how you’re judged in the world. Truth is no one cares. Most of your support will come from people who don’t know you, but relate to you and the ones who hate to see you succeed. No one will care more about what you’re doing than you. If it’s something that you’re proud of, that truly brings you joy without harming others, do it. I say go for it. Tyler Perry is heavily criticized for his plays and content, but guess what he still creates them and he is a millionaire now. He once said that he doesn’t create art for the people who don’t understand, he creates it for the people that do. Whatever it is that you want to do, do it. You will find your tribe and then you’ll continue to create it for them. There’s a million different brands of bread, still everyone has their own preference. SHINE ANYWAY!

Though I’m not disappointed in my journey or regret a thing, I’m exactly where I am supposed to be, still these things would have been great to know and not have to learn the hard way ha! I may make a part 2, writing this actually made me think of 5 more things I wish I knew.

Do you agree? What are some things you wished you knew growing up?

And Remember,

Dont be Bitter,

Be Better!

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Get Clear Skin with Curology

Skin care is something I have been focusing a lot more on in the past 2 years. It was a goal of mine this year to get into a skin care routine. I had major breakouts and all of the products I was using wasn’t working. No amount of water or clean eating helped clear it up. I got so frustrated and overwhelmed, I knew it was time to seek help. 

When I was younger I barely had pimples, let alone acne. This sudden break out in adulthood had me shook. I went to the dermatologist and she diagnosed me with cystic acne. The dermatologist prescribed me acne medication to prevent breakouts while we worked on the condition of my skin. I was initially against medication, but she assured me it was just to get my skin back to a healthy place, not forever. She also prescribed me a retinol to help with the big dark spots I had from acne scars. Initially when I went to the derm, I told her my goal was for my skin to look close to what it did in those pretty snapchat filters or Jhene Aiko’s skin- cause lets be honest sis looks like a walking filter-. I also wanted to brighten the burn marks from my laser hair removal- more on that in a later post.

Cystic Acne is when you have large painful breakouts deep in your skin. For women this is due to the hormonal levels due to mensuration. Cystic acne for women usually occurs along the jaw line and chin.

Of course, I got home and immediately researched cystic acne.-cause you know ya girl researches everything!-I found that I needed to eliminate a lot from my diet such as dairy. Which was hard because I love anything deep fried and smothered in cheese. I also ate yogurt daily for gut health, that was a no no. I cut the yogurt and started taking a probiotic pill instead. I drastically cut back on cheese, which was so hard. 

While my skin was doing much better, I wanted to get a routine down for it. I found myself using several different products for different things, but I didn’t notice a change in my skin. So I decided to simplify. I had been seeing Curology ads and it piqued my interest. My best friend tried it, which was the deciding factor for me.  

Curology is a subscription company that designs skincare specifically made for you by dermatologist that ships every 2 months. I loved this because I felt like I was using all these products because different ones did a different thing I needed. Curology made it so much simpler. 

I went online and took the short, but to the point skin quiz, and then took pictures of my face. My friend advised me to be very specific about my goal and skin needs while taking the quiz. I paid the introductory price $6.95 ( $4.95 shipping plus handling) for the trial products. About 2 days later, I got an email specifying what products I would be receiving along with a message from the dermatologist about how to use my serum in my routine and what formula consisted of. About 2 weeks later I had my products.- I’m assuming turn around time would be faster, if it wasn’t for Covid19. 

My package consisted of a month supply of their standard cleanser, moisturizer, prescription serum formulated for me, acne body wash and acne stickers. 

Trial Size

Cleanser

Ok. I love this cleanser! A little goes a long way and the formula leaves my face feeling clean, but hydrated and silky. I use this in the morning and night. I do find that on the days I wear heavy makeup, I would have to wash my face twice to really get all the makeup off. I take my makeup off in various ways. If I’m tired I will use a makeup towelette. If I have time, I will use almond oil or a cleansing balm like Ponds with a baby wipe or my makeup remover towel.- Ladies if you use coconut oil to take your makeup off STOP IT NOW!! Coconut oil is terrible for your face and clogs the pores.-Doing both ways I found I would still need to double wash. On days where I wore bb cream and foundation powder I would only need to wash once. Prior to Curology, I used the Neutrogena Hydroboost Lotion in the morning and the hydroboost gel in the evenings. I liked these, especially the lotion. The lotion is my favorite. Since Curology, I can’t see using another cleanser. 

Moisturizer

I cannot say enough about this moisturizer. It is so lightweight, but powerful. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and silky. I use this both day and night. Prior to Curology, I used Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Moisturizer, which I love. I would compare it to the Neutrogena Hydroboost or the Clean and Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel. Both are great for  spring/ summer months. In the fall/winter months I usually use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. It’s a little heavier since my skin is a little drier during those months. I run through the moisturizer a little more than the cleanser. I now only use the moisturizer in the morning and my CeraVe at night.

Serum

My serum contains Zinc Pyrithione- antifungal acne medication, Clindamycin- antibacterial acne medication and Azelaic Acid- treats acne and lightens discoloration. I only use this at night after the cleanser. I was advised by the derm to only use this and no other salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinol products.  My skin did rebel, which the dermatologist advised me would happen while my skin adjusted to the products. I had a small break out on my forehead for about 3 weeks. The first week was the roughest. The second week I thought the breakout had cleared, but it came back with a few new pimples. By the third week I only had one or 2 pimples. The last week of the trial, I was able to see my skin progress and it was looking good! My skin was breakout free and my texture/color was evening out. You do have an option in your profile to chat with the derm if there is anything wrong or you feel the treatment isn’t working. Curology provides give you 2 free chats with the sign up and a free chat monthly. You can of course pay to have more sessions as well. These sessions do rollover monthly. I reached out once to the derm assigned to me to make sure it was okay to use my prescribed retinol from my local derm. She advised me to alternate my days, I use the Curology serum every other day and my retinol on the off days from the serum.

Full Size bottle supply for 2 months dont let the size fool you they last!

The next shipment auto ships, however you have the option to cancel whenever you want. Curology will send you an email letting you know to make any changes by a certain date and also to update you on the shipment. You can also change the time frame in which you receive the package. I changed my shipment to receive the cleanser, moisturizer, and the serum- which is required– which totaled $52 plus shipping and handling. I opted out of the acne body wash and acne patches simply because I didn’t use the trial size. I do tend to get breakouts on my shoulders and back sporadically, I believe from working out, however, I haven’t had any recently.

My honest opinion: If you are just starting out in skincare, are looking to get a routine down or have very troubled skin –I would start with physically seeing a dermatologist first with troubled skin-, I would def start here. There’s so much out its hard to figure what to use and what works best for you. While I love the cleanser and moisturizer, there are drug store cleansers and moisturizers that are dups, contain more product, and are a little cheaper. The serum, you cant beat. Since it is made for you and you can change your needs at anytime, I would most likely stick with this product until you have your desired skin.

Speaking of skincare, I recently had the opportunity to talk about some skin care tips and tricks that aren’t widely known about in the black community with Let’s Talk About It with Jackie Wade Podcast and Youtube. You can watch part one here and part two here.

Overall, I love Curology and what it has done for my overall facial skin care health. My dark spots have lightened up quite a bit and my skin’s texture is a lot better.  I would definitely recommend giving it a try! 

Are you thinking about trying Curology? Let’s talk about it!

And remember,

Dont be bitter

Be Better!

**This is not a sponsored post.

Dont be Bitter be Better: 3 Reasons Why I Chose to be Single

Reading the heading of this post, I know you’re wondering why would one choose to be single.-Let me explain.- I found myself in an odd place. I was in a situationship that ended on good terms, we even decided to still remain friends. Even after the romantic phase was over, we would meet up for drinks and still text as friends. One day, I found myself blocked and ignored. This was someone who I had a fifteen year friendship with so to be suddenly cut out of their life was odd. I would speak when I saw them and nothing, not even a hello back. The need to know why I was suddenly being treated this way was growing inside of me. The more it happened the angrier I became. –I know what your thinking why did you continue to speak?- A part of me was all kill them with kindness, but another part felt it was probably agitating them that I did– that was the petty part of me.

Privately, I was very hurt by losing the relationship and the friendship. – I was hurt hurt. Mariah Carey’s breakdown ft Bone-Thugs and Harmony has never made more sense than that moment in time

The guy a dated after that 5months into the dating phase –not relationship but casually dating– he got engaged to someone else. Yes, you read that right, engaged to another girl while we were dating, and to add insult to injury I found about it 2 weeks later from someone who didn’t even know I knew him, let alone was dating him.- the audacity, tuh!-

I felt myself becoming bitter. I didn’t want to shut love out, but at that moment I didn’t know how I could continue to be so open to something that was literally ripping my heart apart. I prayed to ease the pain and bring me understanding. In the past, I had taken a break from dating before and dated myself, but I was still open to invitations. Initially when I took the first break, I was a 20 something year old who was lost. My 20s were rough and flew by. I am now a 30 something who has experience. I’m more settled now, I feel wiser like I have a new lens on life. I don’t feel so desperate to get to a finish line of a goal, until I started comparing my life to where I thought I should be for my age. So this decision didn’t come lightly. This time I decided to decline any interests. No dates. I didn’t entertain someone who was interested in dating. If they weren’t pre-existing non-romantic friendships, I wasn’t available for it. I wanted to completely focus on me and pour into myself. My prayers were eventually answered, but in praying I realized a few things about myself and how I approached dating:

1. Relationships were the goal
My goal was to be in a relationship. That’s it. That’s all I wanted. I had no clue what I was going to do after I got into one, but as someone whos never been in one, that was my goal. Somewhere along the way I began to be desperate to be in one. To be claimed, chosen, picked from the bunch. The older I got the more important it became. Towards the end of my 20s dating began to feel more of a hassle than fun. Dating was supposed to be the time of your life, but for me it felt like a means to an end.

If you listen to society, being single will have you feeling worthless. You cant possibly be anyone of value if you’re not in a relationship or married, your advice is worthless, you don’t understand anything as it relates to relationships and you can’t hang around the couple crowd if you are single. I have lost so called friends for being the single one. To be deemed “worthy” by society, I needed to be in a relationship.

I started to look at every possible love interest as “the one”. After the initial contact, I daydreamed about our life together. -if I really found you attractive.- I had an unrealistic expectation for every man who entered my romantic life. I was never in the present moment. I never saw it for what it was until it was over, and I was heartbroken, more so by the possibilities than by missing out on the person. –cause lets be honest, if relationships weren’t my goal there is no way I would have been with some of the dudes I entertained. They were definitely “what were you thinking?” type of guys, especially the 2 mentioned at the opening- I focused very little on the person and more on the end result.

2. Dating with Intention.
I investigated my dating history and they were all pointless. There were no clear intentions or standards set in the beginning. They were all “I like you, you like me, lets see what happens”. – 4 words no woman should fall for-. There were no clear boundaries. No clear communication. It was all unhealthy. Not only were the relationships not clear, but neither was I. I had no clue what I wanted in a relationship. I didn’t understand the value of what I was bringing to a relationship and what I should be receiving from one. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had no clue how relationships worked. Sure, I had examples, but they all seemed to be unhappy or settling for things that didn’t align with their morals or values. –and I did not want to be one of those people.- Even though I knew what I didn’t want, I still wasn’t clear on what I did want.

I’m a researcher, I have to have understanding. The “why” must be answered. So, I did what any researcher would do; I read. I read books, 4 specifically; The Conversation– Hill Harper, Relationship Goals– Michael Todd, Judge This Cover-Brittany Renner, and The Game of Desire– Shannon Boodram.

I have read The Conversation many years ago. I remember it being so packed with gems, that I wrote notes in the margins and highlighted sentences throughout the book. I decided to reread it. The gems were still valid. It is, however, geared more toward people already in a relationship, but it gave me insight.

I loved the Youtube series Relationship Goals so much! It was actually the first thing I watched while struggling through the pain of losing the friendship. I learned a lot by watching the series. So, when Michael Todd wrote a book, I brought it on preorder. The book was so different from the series, which I loved, no one wants to read something they’ve already heard verbatim. There were some parts of the book I disagreed with, but he does speak about all kinds of relationships as it relates to God. I had to keep reminding myself that the book isn’t just talking about romantic relationships. Also, every relationship doesn’t have to work according to someone else’s interpretation of the bible. Overall, I enjoyed the book and got a real grasp about faith in relationships.

Ill admit, I was a little reluctant to read Judge This Cover by Brittany Renner. Brittany Renner is a social media star who is best known for her sexy photos and fitness on Instagram. She has made a name for herself by posting workout videos and promoting fitness products. Brittany has been known to date some very famous people. It is said that most of the relationships she refers to in her book are about those famous people, although the names have been changed in the book. I was really shocked by how insightful this book was. I related to her and her struggles with dating. Though she was a little more free in her sexuality, I admired her willingness to bare it all in the book. She also gave a different perspective and some great advice. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. Most people I know that did read it, did so to be nosy about her life, but ended up loving the book for her insight. I’m telling you it was a great read!

Lastly, I read The Game of Desire. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. If you’re not familiar with Shannon Boodram, she is a certified intimacy educator who teaches people to be more competent and confident as it relates sexology. My judgement of the book pre-reading it was that it was going to be mostly about sex. While there is, of course, sex talk in the book, the book is mostly about you. Discovering who you are, your love language, your personality traits, your intimacy language etc, and how to use that to be present in your dating life. There is a workbook you can fill out prior to reading which I highly recommend. I learned more about who I am as a person reading this book, than I did about dating. I honestly wished I would have read this book first. This is a book I highly recommend everyone read.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

3. Self-Love
You knew we were going to end up here! I preach this. Every time I think I have finally obtained the highest level of loving yourself, I find something that could use extra work, a little extra love. When it came to intimacy and body positivity, I lacked majorly. I noticed in the bedroom or times of vulnerability; I was very mean to myself. –You know the talk “suck it in don’t let them see you have a gut, eww” “wear something to cover your arms no one needs to see those Hammocks” “ you want to wear shorts, have you seen your thighs??” “Make sure it’s dark when you take your pants off gotta hide those stretch marks, that’ll be a major turn off”.– Being sexual with some one may have felt good, physically, but mentally I was beating myself up with negative talk the entire time and after was worse.

I have struggled with my weight ever since I took the depo shot. My body has been through a lot. I have gotten trainers, changed my diet, taken weight loss pills, different diet fads all to try to lose weight. I cant remember a time in my adult life that I actually loved my body. There were certain things about myself I wanted to change, and I would, only to gain it back. Doctors would tell me to change my diet or to eat smaller meals more frequently and if I got sick they would say it was just a stomach flu. It wasn’t until I landed in the ER twice with the same doctor that pointed out that something wasn’t right; did I really start to find answers.

After getting diagnosed and getting a treatment plan together, I really began to focus on my health as a whole. I began to make the correct changes and my body actually responded. I began to look more and more like the person I saw in my mind. My self-talk became positive. Sure, there are still somethings I’m a little self-conscious about, but the positive outweighs the negative. The negative is what I strive to give the most love to. Constant reminders that we are regular people and look like real people. We don’t have tiny waists and giant asses. Our breast will have a little sag to them. Stretch marks are a part of growth your body is constantly changing, and facial hair is a thing, almost everyone has it. Society and social media will have you out here changing who you are to fit their standards of beauty rather than loving the way God created you. No knock to plastic surgery, if that’s a path you want or need to take to love who you are, more power to you, go forth and do that, but make sure it’s for you and not for the world. “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have been purposely single for a year. Every now and again I’ll feel alone, but I’m not lonely. I have found less of a desire to be in a relationship and more of a desire to be comfortable with who I am before inviting someone into my space; my peace. I’m more understanding about my love life and what I need and require to continue to flourish and grow. I’m no longer feeling bitter…. I’m better.-does my tagline make more sense to you now?-

Would you take a year off from dating to learn yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, remember,

Don’t be Bitter,

Be Better!!

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Self Care: Why You Need It and How to Obtain It

I don’t know about anybody else, but the holidays have been draining for me- even though I was a self proclaimed Grinch seriously it was the first year I did not put up a tree and Christmas music was driving me insane! Lol- After gift shopping, holiday parties and celebrating the New Year I’m exhausted!

This year, like most, I have set some goals for myself; 3 specific goals. If you refer back to my very first video, I talk about keeping the goals to a minimum of 3 and elaborating on them. Too many goals split your focus or can become overwhelming-and I am already overworked! – try to do things to work toward your goals daily, weekly, and monthly. For instance, if your goal is to write a book; write a little each day, set a goal of a chapter a week by the end of the month you should have 4 chapters and that much closer to completing your book.

As I’ve gotten older, I have become a bit more private about the goals I set; they are very personal to me-and hello boundaries! – But I do want to share one I think everyone should be doing in some shape or form: Self Care.

Towards the end of the year things got super crazy for me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. One thing that falls to the side when things get crazy is taking care of you. This is definitely a moment to be selfish. My grandmother always tells me you can’t take care of other people if you can’t take care of yourself. It starts with you. You can’t pour into other things if you’re empty. Self care is more about working on the inside rather than outside- but don’t get it twisted keep it cute on the outside too boo-

Creating a stress free environment and setting boundaries are definitely important steps for self care. I believe your job plays a major role in stress. I personally decided to make a role change at one of my jobs. I was an admin to a director which was great for my resume, but super stressful, not at all flexible and I was slowly becoming unhappy. I took a promotion to processing behavioral medical claims. Even though it’s considered a promotion I will be doing much less than what I was doing in my other role-which I am super excited for frees up time for me to do things I want to do- also, I was being constantly consumed by work thoughts that it was clouding my mind!

Your peace of mind is yours and yours alone! It’s especially important if you suffer from mental illnesses or disorders. After my last flair up with PMDD I decided that my peace of mind was most important. I practice meditation which I get into later, but I haven’t been incorporating those tools into areas of my life outside of the physical act of meditating. I think practicing mindful meditation would help with dealing with stress throughout the day. You should be protecting your peace of mind at all cost. –Boundaries people boundaries!- 

So going forward in 2018 here are some things I am incorporating to help me protect my peace of mind and continue to work on my self care.

  1. Meditation and Reading

I talk about meditation a lot in my blog, but it’s so good for you! After a meditation session I feel refreshed. I feel mentally relieved. –Like when you got to take a nap in kindergarten – it’s totally brings the focus back to the forefront. I do my meditation sessions at night right after doing yoga and sometimes during my breaks at work. However, it’s not something I practice constantly.

After the last PMDD episode I had, I found that I was having constant anxiety and mini anxiety attacks – and for myself I want to learn how to deal with it naturally vs. taking medication, that’s just for me– I researched ways to deal with the anxiety thoughts throughout the day and one of the things I found for practicing mindful meditation. Meditation is the act of clearing your thoughts; mindful meditation is the act of training your thoughts. So whatever I’m thinking about that is causing my anxiety, I’m training myself to be aware that I’m having those thoughts and redirect my thoughts to more positive thinking.

I read books… and I’ll read you if you try it!

Reading is another way I train my mind. I lovvvvvvveeeeee to read- I’m especially attracted to books about magic and wizardry– but I will read almost anything. Reading provides me an escape that nothing else does. –That feeling when you get caught up in a good book, it’s nothing like it! – I’m particular about how I read as well. I prefer physical books over reading on my phone or a kindle –and it’s something about the smell of a book– since I love to read so much I decided to create a space in my house that I could read.

So for 2018, I’m in the process of converting a corner in my bedroom into a reading nook. I’m getting a big comfy chair, pillows, and a comfy blanket, light, the whole 9. I will be sure to keep you guys updated.

  1. Yoga and Exercise

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. Practicing meditation is a part of yoga, which is why every session ends in a 10 minute meditation-but don’t you leave feeling relaxed and refreshed?!-

Exercising is just great for you period. –Do I really need to tell you all the benefits from exercising? – I will say I like to end a great workout in the sauna for 15-20 mins. If you have asthma like myself this helps your lungs after an intense workout. The sauna is great for colds/sinus as well. I also like to put a deep conditioner in my hair and sit in the sauna-yes with my bag on my head daring anyone to say anything! – But it’s so good for your hair and really helps the product work.

  1. Nature

Hitting the gym is great but I prefer to run outside. Something about physically being able to see how far I’ve actually ran and see nature rather than the person’s butt in front of me or smelling that sweaty gym smell- you know what I’m talking about! – A walk in the park, a hike, walk a trail, ponder life at a stream, or bicycling around the city, fresh air is definitely another good way to clear your mind, focus on your thoughts, and gain some clarity.

  1. Spa Day

Specifically a at home spa day- because we ballas on a budget over here! – I believe pampering yourself is essential. Manicures, pedicures, body butters, massage oils, massages, eyebrow threading, waxes, I need all of that. ALL. OF. THAT.

I do have a nail tech that I go to for my nails– shout out to Venus K. at Nail Lounge in the Boro! She keeps my nail in check- I also hit up the European Wax Center in Brentwood for any waxing I get done. Other than that I mainly do everything else myself. Yes that’s right, I have learned how to do my eyebrows and my own pedicures, every now and again if I’m feeling fancy I may go and get a pedicure done but I never let anyone touch my brows!!- I had 1 bad brow experience, learned my lesson, and taught myself!-

When I was younger I constantly made everyone in the house mad because I was a bathroom hog! I loved taking long hot bubble baths and listening to music- and you know singing along to all the songs- unfortunately we lived in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house sooooo naturally if I was in the bathroom for hours on end no one else could use the bathroom –muahahahaha- As I got older and busier, I settled for hot showers over baths and occasionally took bubble baths. This year I am bringing them back! the goal is for 1 to 2 nights out of the week dedicated to a night of relaxation. A glass bottle of wine –or cherry juice– candle lit bubble baths with neo-soul radio station. –I mean how could you not?!?!

  1. Therapy and Journaling

In case you haven’t notice blogging is kind of like a therapy for me. Of course it’s condensed but none the less. Therapy helps me work through my problems the best. It’s a nonbiased opinion. My therapist suggested journaling because I have a hard time with my thoughts as far as tracking them or remember certain things especially if my anxiety has kicked up.

Thinking about something isn’t enough for me I have to get it out, write it down, and say it out loud, let my thoughts flow until I can figure it out or work through it. The longer it stays in the more it festers, the more toxic it becomes… –let that shit out

Boundaries, self affirmations, living stress free, and protecting your peace of mind are so vital in the day and age. How someone treats you is what you allow and no one will treat you better than you treat yourself! Make sure you are at the top of your list because like I said you can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself. So be selfish with you, your energy, your time, your attention.

What are some things you do for self care? Let’s talk about it!

Oh wait before you go, I have updated my closet on Poshmark and dropped some prices, you can download the app here and shop my closet- @lilvee08 or you can click the link on my home page titled “shop my closet”

Until next time!

XOXO

Respect these F*cking Boundaries

The latter half of 2017 was really rough for me, personally, spiritually, and mentally.

Words I would use to describe it; reckless, passionate, irresponsible, wild, unhealthy, unrequited, challenging, contradicting, and confusing just to name a few.

Since turning 28 I feel like I am stepping from a woman to a grown ass woman and all the universe is pushing me towards something. –has anybody else had this feeling before? Usually when I hear people talk about this it’s at the 30 mark, but baby I’m telling you I feel different!?  943fbd8450531a4095b8fb1f05972b5883433736_hq

I’ve talked a lot about vulnerability, navigating and figuring out what worked best for me- and I’ve brought you guys along this journey as I figure it out– while doing some research, I came across some blogs that really brought some things into perspective. BOUNDARIES. Something that was so simple, yet very much needed. While figuring out being vulnerable I had to figure out what my limits are and what I will and won’t allow. Unfortunately, everything is trial and error and boy was it trial and error-and is still a work in progress– but ultimately it’s about knowing yourself and having standards.

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Set the boundary, live the boundary, respect the fucking boundary. Boundaries teach people how to treat you. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that people will only treat you how you allow them to. Boundaries are not only important to have in your personal life, but in your dating and career life.

Dating

Having standards and boundaries while dating or in a relationship is very important. I’ve talked about my dating lifeor lack thereof– before and how I’ve never actually had a legit boyfriend, I think the last time I had one of those was 8th grade? Does that even count? NO! Every since this “talking” or “we not together but we know what it is” phase it seems that people are more interested in that rather than having an actual relationship- I can go deeper into this on another blog, but for now I digress– while in high school and a bit of college, I too, dabbled in it – it’s very convenient for that period of your life– but damnit after 25 if you’re still on that move far away from me. I’m at the point now where I want something real, someone I can grow, build, and explorer exclusively with – not knocking anyone that prefers to “talk” or “be together with no title” I just realize it’s not for me, it’s too confusing and way too many open questions for me and if you read my last blog that’s just asking for a panic attack I don’t have time for that, but to each its own right?-   I’ve been on a few dates in the past, but as I began to really analyze my dating life, I began to question do I really know how to date?suits_403_jeff_jessica_boundaries

Dating feels hard confusing not fun right now. I’m the single friend, so getting advice from my girlfriends that aren’t dating like me was hard, so naturally I looked for reading material and articles online. I have read The Conversation by Hill Harper before, but the details were a bit foggy to me. So I took the dust off the book and reread it. I instantly remembered why I loved the book so much. I even made notes and highlighted areas the first time I read it. –I read this book when I got out of my last “we not together but togetherrelationship– I also came across a blog post on XO Necole which came back to boundaries. I loved the idea of treating everybody of the opposite sex like a friend until it’s crystal clear that they want something more. I could go deeper into this, but honestly the post says everything I would say, take the time to read it if you have the chance. Between the book and the article, it definitely put things in perspective and gave me some things to keep in my arsenal when it comes to this dating game.

Career

I’m always going to be very vocal about purpose and passion, I feel like I was dead before I found it. Its hard work when your purpose and passion don’t make you those coins to stay alive, however. I talked in a post about how unhappy I was in my job because the job itself is stressful and it was taking away from my purpose and passion, which I care deeply about.  I decided for my sanity to take a step back out of management–although it’s considered a promotion– but it’s just a simpler job and it offers me more benefits, such as working at home.  Your job is such a huge chunk of your day, you should be happy doing whatever it is right? For someone like me it’s a means to an end, but I also need to be happy and not stressed doing it so I am able to do my passion and purpose. It’s a fine balance to it. It’s a boundary to it.giphy (1)

I follow Halfietruths’ blog -and honestly if you don’t you should, she’s amazing!- and she did a video over boundaries, where she talks about  what boundaries are, why to have them, and how to set them. One of the things she talks about in the video is how setting boundaries protects your energy, which for me is why boundaries are so important for me right now.

I’ve always been very open about suffering with PMDD I will be doing a video on this soon so keep an eye out- Fortunately for me, I know I’m very sensitive to hormones, so taking birth control with hormones in it, Plan B, or anything with added hormones will trigger a “crazy” lady – seriously shit gets REAL!- So setting boundaries helps protect this very important space for my sanity.

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It’s also so important for you and others to respect the boundaries you set. I’ve been guilty of setting boundaries and then going back on them to please someone or to please myself.-temptation is a bitch am I right?–  How confusing is that right? If I show I don’t even respect the boundaries or standards I set, how the fuck am I supposed to expect someone else to respect them?

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Going into 2018, I challenge everyone to really get to know who you are. We are ever evolving beings and we are constantly changing and one day you look up and you realize you don’t know who you are anymore. I challenge you to be the best version of yourself daily. I challenge you to find you purpose and your passion and go for it, but live in the moment and enjoy the journey. What is living if you’re not having any fun? Have fun. but also RESPECT THESE FUCKING BOUNDARIES with positive vibes only. tenor

Let’s talk: What are some boundaries you’re setting for yourself in the New Year?

Until next time,

Happy Holidays!

Over-Thinking

Hello, my name is Veronica and I’m an over-thinker. I haven’t always been this way or maybe I have and I’m just now fully aware of it. I find if I am having a PMDD (which you can read about HERE) episode my over –thinking can kick into high gear or during times of high stress I can find myself questioning everything.img_7440

In this blog, I am going to be talking about ways I have learned to deal with my over-thinking- which I have now accepted as a part of me

It wasn’t easy getting to this point, honestly still a work in progress. Here are the things I have found help me the best.

1. You have to learn to be ok with questions you’ll never get the answers to.

This one was a big one for me, especially during a period of rejection or dating. I’m constantly trying to figure the situation out. Beat the game before it can beat me, but life doesn’t work that way. I had to learn to let it flow, be present in the moment, and let it work itself out – I recently learned this lesson by causing myself all this confusion by over-thinking the situation when the answer was simple, I don’t need all the answers let it flow naturally, but hey I’m only human– I tend to ask questions to the point of insanity for some people.  I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I’m not the person you take to the movies, I know we are both seeing the movie for the first time; however, I will ask questions. I ask questions even if it’s a movie I have already seen.- It’s pretty ridiculous.- I like to know things fully before I give all of my attention to it, which I find to be a positive thing, but rather than being present in the moment and letting it flow, ill question it to death.  I’m learning to silence the thoughts by practicing mindful thoughts and countering them with positive thoughts-not saying my thoughts/questions are negative, but they can drive me to the point of insanity.

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2. You will have to work hard to change your thinking

This was also another gem I recently discovered. Your thoughts control your actions and reactions to situations and the way you perceive things. Over-thinking can make you think things are one way when they aren’t and vice versa. I’m a Libra, so I try to see situations from all sides. I try to put myself in the shoes of others and see things from their perspective. Sometimes this creates more questions because I can also see it from my perspective. I can literally flood my mind with thoughts and it’s not even that deep. In times where I’m dealing with rejection or some sort of “loss”, if you will, I have to constantly train my mind to go from over analyzing to words of positive affirmations, because I can be my own worst critic.-but hey aren’t we all?

img_72743.Write it out!

Rapping, writing, poetry, song writing, listen whatever form you have to use to work it out use it! Journaling for the win “What you reveal, you heal”-Jay Z (and some others I’m sure) but it’s true. How can you heal from something if you’re not willing to reveal it? Not reveal it in the sense that you have to declare it to the world, but to yourself. Sometimes we will deny our own truths or suppress them thinking that if we ignore them we’ll get over them. –Boy are you wrong– all you’re doing is giving it power to fester. Would you get shot and not have it checked out? Would you find out you have cancer and just ignore it thinking it’ll go away if you act like it’s not there? No. So why would you deal with your problems like that?! Therapy works, but if you really don’t want to share express it some way, better out than in.

4. Distract yourself

Constantly over thinking, over analyzing, dwelling is not healthy for the mind, clear it out and focus that energy on self. In times of rejections, break-ups, self doubts, and life’s little curve balls will throw over-thinkers, like myself, into overdrive. We are determined to figure out why? What happened? How can I fix this? What can I learn from this? How can I make this better or change it to my favor? The answer is simple: you don’t.  Let’s circle back to #1, You have to accept that you don’t have all the answers. You HAVE to let it flow.  How does an over-thinker let it flow? Starve that part that you’re dwelling over, distract yourself. Something I learned from baseball, when the pitcher is getting ready to throw the ball he focuses on where he wants the ball to go, he feels the energy flow through ball, he twist it in his hands, gets it ready to throw, and just before he gets into motion he looks away. There’s a study that says for perfect work productivity you work 52 mins and walk away for 17 mins. You have to stop thinking about it, to think about it. –Crazy I know– I have found that I have figured more out while not thinking about it than I did overt-thinking it. I have found that by distracting myself with meditation, yoga, getting outdoors –because I work 24/7 365, its very important to stop and get fresh air– dance, reading, working on my craft, music, coloring- yes this helps– exercising, and becoming my best self has helped me more than constantly mulling over a situation. Once I find myself completely distracted I somehow have an “ah ha” moment.img_7463

5.Appreciate the “ah ha” moments

Sometimes you have to go through it to grow through.  That last sentence was an “ah ha” moment within its self. Be careful with the “ah ha” moments. Sometimes they can throw you back into thinking about a situation. “Ah Ha” moments are beautiful when they happen. They make you appreciate everything you went through to get to that moment. More so because it allows you to finally see why you had to go through that situation. Leveling up, struggle moments, moments you feel like you’re being tested, they mean something in the long run. It’s important to appreciate them for what they are, but don’t let them drive you back down the road of questioning everything.

These 5 tips have helped me tremendously, but like I said before definitely a work in progress. This is probably something I will always have to work on, learning to be quite and realize I don’t need the all the answers especially because time reveals all.1000_mean-girls-try-new-thing

Are you an over-thinker? Comment below some of the things that help you be still in calm your mind. Let’s talk about it!

Until next time

XOXO

 

 

Write it Out

Why do we as humans suffer in silence? We all act like we have to walk around like everything is fine 100% of the time. I believe this is why suicide rates are so high. Mostly because we as humans care about what other people think. –yes you too Linda stop trying to act like you don’t!– whether it’s your man, your crush, your friends, strangers, we all like to put on this front like we have it all together when actually I know not 1 person that has a “perfect” life –can we pause on that what is perfect? What is normal? These are both terms that only you can define for yourself, but I digresschristina-nothings-normal

We all want to put on this facade instead of reaching out or being afraid to admit we’re hurt. –hello social mediaBabyishImperturbableKiwi-max-1mb

 

I asked a question on my Facebook “Which is worse pretending like we don’t care or wearing your heart on your sleeve?”

 

Overwhelmingly, everyone agreed that pretending like we don’t care was worse. I can’t say I’m not surprised by this answer, but I am surprised that we still act the opposite.

I’ve been talking a lot about being open -you guys this shit is probably the hardest thing emotionally I’ve done, but here I am and here we go– I thought by being open and allowing the universe to bring positive vibes I would reap great rewards-foolish girl– vulnerability is hard. Transparency is hard. You’re opening yourself up and saying to a person this is truly who I am, like me or leave me. Most will leave you, some will like you, you just never know what you’re going to get.BimvZCQnvB8x

The tricky part is when you really care for someone and you trust them with your feelings and you show them and they leave you. Now you out here wide open left with all these feelings and emotions and nowhere to put them and you regret being open. There’s beauty in the pain. It hurts, but there’s beauty in knowing that at least you laid it out there. Now what do you do with all these emotions and feelings? There’s no suitcase to pack them in and store for later!

I am a natural writer. The notes on my Iphone are so full because I literally found I have to write everything down in my head so that I don’t feel so cluttered. –and also so I don’t forget an idea– I found what works best for me is to write letters.

 

Sometimes you have to write them letters they will never receive.

It’s not for them it’s for you.

Sometimes you need to say the words they are never going to hear.

It’s not for them it’s for you.

Sometimes you need to tell them how you feel even if they are never going to feel it.

It’s not for them it’s for you.

 

We are like vaults. We unconsciously hold things inside and carry it around never putting it into the universe. That’s a toxic way to live don’t you think?

When I began my journey on being open, I really didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Boy I had no idea what I was manifesting. But I was harboring some deep shit! Here’s the first lesson I learned immediately upon turning 28, you can’t “be open” and hold it in. It doesn’t work like that.- Now, as I’m typing this I’m sure somewhere on my page is a blog where I’m telling you how to really know if you’re over a situation. I should re-label that how you THINK you know you’re over a situation lol.- 28 was brought in with some big ol crocodile tears, and not for such the joyous occasion it should be, but for the letting go I so desperately needed to do.

 

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Here’s the thing, how do you let go? I think that looks different for everybody. I would love to tell you how to figure it out, but up until right before I typed this blog I thought I had let it go and figured it out, but guess what?! You know nothing Jon Snow! I figured the best way at that moment- and to stop the tears– was to work through it. As I stared out my window sobbing and talking to the universe and God, I decided to write. I decided to write letters. I tried to pinpoint exactly what or who these tears were for and I wrote to them- honest, no sugar coating, letters-.

I wrote them letters I never plan for them to see. Something about seeing it on paper cleansed my spirit. Now, I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I felt 100% better. The more I wrote the harder I cried because some of the letters I wrote required an action I wasn’t prepared for; letting go. I needed to remove some people from my life. Not because their bad people and they were hurting me, but because I loved them. They say if you love something you’ve got to let it go and if comes back then it means so much more… but if it never comes at least you know it was something you had to hold on to grow. I always thought letting go meant it had to be toxic, but sometimes letting go means love, the best kind of love you can give is setting someone free.

pk3h2GdElEexNow after the letters were written and the tears have dried, I took all that energy, love, and time into me. –yes girl right back into myself. – Because no one can love me better than me! When I started this journey and 28 was approaching, the year felt different. –again this is my magical year I feel it- I am changing and with that change comes getting to know myself just a little better. I am being prepared.-remember positive vibes only!

What are some things you do to let go?

And when you do what are some things you do with the left over energy?

Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time

XOXO

Why I Wanted to Quit my Job, But Didn’t.

I’ve been feeling full. Not in the “I just ate a great meal and I’m about to float off into the itis” full- which I would have gratefully preferred-. My soul has been full of negative energy. I couldn’t figure out what I could’ve done or opened myself up to, to suck in all of this negative energy.

Ok that’s a lie, I have been working on opening myself up to be vulnerable and alive. What I didn’t realize was I was also opening myself up to negativity.

Our environment can greatly affect us, in the best and worse ways, which left me to look at only one source: work. I work all the time-I may have taken Kevin Gates lyrics way too serious– but one job was becoming so toxic I was letting it affect other areas of my life.

negativity1_400_zpsc5e97dac-giforiginal-700xI didn’t even realize I was picking up the energy and carrying it with me, but I’m sure my subconscious realized something was off. I randomly began to say while at work, “I refuse to talk about this, I don’t need that negative energy in my life.” and I would close my eyes and take a quick inhale and long exhale.

I noticed I was saying it all the time to the point where I was very aware every time I said it. Not only that, but I began to slowly and firmly put my foot down and stand on what I was saying and not letting anyone sway me on my decision and then there was the obvious; I just blatantly stopped giving a fuck.

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The more it happened, I began to feel clearer and the clearer I became the more apparent it was to me that it was time for a job change or to make a change in the job. The job was dulling my creativity.

I put my creativity above everything. My creativity is who I am. I have to be able to express myself in whatever medium that may be, I know that I am not Veronica or LilSis without my creativity, without the ability to unapologetically express myself. To leave it all on the table and be proud of what I just did. And this job indeed was not providing me that comfortability because I was so consumed with the toxic part all I was pouring out was the negativity and a horrible attitude it was pouring into me. Instead of being empty and allowing the universe and ideas flow to and through me, I was eating everything negative and projecting out attitude and disdain.

555Now, with that being said I know what you all are wondering, did you quit the job? As much as I would love to say yes! I laid it all out on the table, let them have it and chucked the deuces!!! I like my bills to be paid on time and a roof over my head. So if there was no way around it, I had to learn to work through it. Rather than allowing myself to become extremely upset and carry what ever happened at work with me, I chose to look at it through different lenses, a comical one if you will. this was a job, not my career, not my passion, not my main focus, just a means to pay my bills so that I could focus on my passion and purpose- cause lets be honest its all just work until my passion and purpose step in and make me millions

The key is to be choosy on what you allow yourself to be open to and how you react to it.

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Not every cause deserves a reaction. That is something I learned in anger management. –see therapy does help!– Sometimes the best response is no response at all. It takes a certain level of maturity to reach this, however. Once I figured out how to control my reactions to the situation and not focus so much energy on it, I began to feel a little better. I had to tell myself this job is not the important thing here, my acting is, my blogging is, the things that I am passionate about, the things that feed my soul that’s what’s most important. I had to learn to stop caring about the things that didn’t feed me or only took away from me because they were turning me into a bitter mean person.

 

giphyI did, however, purge.  In order to replace the negative energy with positive energy I had to empty all the negative out. I sat and wrote a very detailed email to my leadership and sent it with a prayer that hopefully –faithfully– everything would get better and if not for me at least for the next employee that takes the job. -and let me tell you guys it was an instant change in energy! 5 mins before the email I was ready to leave the job and hustle to find better, but once that email was sent it was like a weight lifted off of me and my soul was no longer anchored! I immediately felt the positive energy radiate through me!

What are some things you focus on that do not serve a purpose in your life? What are some things that take up way too much space in your soul that you can purge? Leave them in the comments below! Lets Talk About It!

 

Until next time

XOXO

 

Stress is a Killer

So lately in my blogs, I have been talking about being overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out. After I had my mental break I decided to put my health first-because I believe in doctors, but not all medicine is good medicine. There were some things I did when I had more time, in the past, but I have let some things go due to not having enough time- but as the saying goes, you make time for what you want. Being that I’m struggling with high stress and bad sleep habits I had to change and QUICK! So I want to share with you what I do to reduce stress and what helps get me the proper amount of good sleep.

Organic Tart Cherry Juice
Organic tart cherry juice was introduced to me, from a dear coworker, after I explained that I felt like I was sleeping, but not resting, I could not get settled down enough to go to sleep on time. Let me tell you guys this is the stuff of miracles! It gives you the mellow feeling that comes with wine without the alcohol. I had tried melatonin, however I would wake up irritable -I didn’t like it and I’m sure people I encountered didn’t either. It does have a tart taste, hence the name, but I love tart, sour foods so I love it. Plus it has some wonderful health benefits, along with giving you a better quality of sleep- it helps me fall and stay asleep- it regulates metabolism, and helps muscles repair after a workout. It also boosts your immune system! This stuff saved my life, and spared a few people’s feelings!

tumblr_mzlhrqienO1tnxzalo1_500Cardio and the Sauna

Speaking of muscle recovery, I have only recently started getting back into exercising. I notice a major change in my overall being when I consistently work out, Keyword consistently-because I start and stop and start and stop a lot and it really hurts me more than helps when I do that- but when I do it consistently I feel great throughout the day, and my energy levels go all the way up -Fat Joe voice- I mainly stick to running- because honestly when I incorporate weights I suddenly hate the gym, baby steps baby steps- also I have asthma and running helps build my lungs and airways. After a good run, I lovelove LOVE to get in the sauna. 20 minutes with just me and my thoughts, it’s so relaxing to me, I cannot explain it. I feel ten times better plus it helps with the soreness.- Bonus, I also get my stretch in while I’m in the sauna so it’s almost like hot yoga, if you will.tenor (2)

Bedtime yoga/stretching

Speaking of yoga, if I can’t make it to the gym for my workout and that lovely sauna, I will take 10-15 minutes before I go to bed, after drinking my cherry juice, I will do yoga and stretching. I will do common stretches to warm my body up before I go into the yoga poses. There’s a couple of poses I do routinely to limber up and calm me down. I stay in a pose for at least 30 seconds. The fun part about this is you can do it all using your bed-say what?!- Yes girl, the bed is my yoga mat! So when I’m all done I go straight to bed. Yoga is beneficial for insomnia and sleep problems. This coupled with my cherry juice-I’m telling you guys it is AWESOME!-

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Meditation

If I have learned anything in acting class, it’s to always focus focus FOCUS! It’s the first thing and most important thing of acting. How long can one focus though? My attention span is very very short, I’ve learned- worse than the dog in the movie Up. Squirrel! – Meditation has allowed me to clear my head and really focus on keeping it that way for I’m almost at 10 minutes now.- I know 10 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, and sounds very easy, but trust me its sooooooo hard! especially for an over thinker like me.-  I like to do this at the end of my bedtime yoga or when I’m in the sauna- and sometimes in the middle of a busy work day- I usually lay in the middle of my bed, eyes closed, feet together spread eagle, and my palms facing up. It’s the most refreshing feeling to just not think about anything and focus on the breath, especially for someone who is constantly stressing.

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Reading

Like meditation, reading requires a lot of focus. However, if it’s a really good book I can get lost in the words and it’s not like I’m reading at all. I like reading as a hobby, but the plus to it is its works as a stress reliever because I get to forget whatever it is I have going on in my mind and get pulled into this other world. I always gravitate towards magic, witchery and other worlds –fantasy- but every now and then I’ll pick up a book that is just dealing with real life and drama –and it’s not mine! Ha!- the added plus to this is you get to actually learn while distressing.tumblr_inline_ogf77wP7gw1uqccih_500

 

These small changes take me from barely making it to feeling like i can conquer the world! Give these tips a try and let me know if they change your life in the comments below!

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sliding into my day like…

 

Until next time!

XoXo

It’s More Than PMS…

As many of you may have notice there was no video to follow the blog for last week. For that I apologize. I absolutely LOVE making the videos and giving a voice to my blog. However, for the past couple of weeks I had to take a break and for this week’s blog I wanted to shed some light on something that I have been privately dealing with for a few years now. Let me give you a back story.

—————-Disclaimer: males, this is about to get real personal Achem——————-
PMDD It's not Just PMS Orange Image_nAbout 2 years ago I was diagnosed with something called PMDD or Pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. The best way to describe it is having the usual pms symptoms x10.

 

 

 

images (2)At the age of 18 I was recommended –like all sexually active adults- to take birth control. I hated taking pills so I opted for the Depo shot. While the first shot was pretty breezy, the second shot proved to be the complete opposite.- if you’ve never been on Depo you get a shot once every 3 months – My periods began to be very irregular, and very unpredictable. I gained about 40lbs. By the third shot, I decided to get off the shot the symptoms were too much for me and I was giving Vickie Secrets too much of my money!!!

Untitled-design-7I completely got off the shot and things only got worse. My body didn’t feel like mine anymore, I even sweated differently. About 2 years later, I began to develop cyst on my ovaries- which runs in my family, so we couldn’t be certain if the shot or just my genetics caused this– and my doctor put me back on birth control to help stop the formation of the cyst- because let’s be honest cyst pain is the worst! I wouldn’t wish that on my enemy– I started on the birth control pill Loestrin  – which my doctor said had the lowest dose of hormones in it– about 2 months into taking it I began to experience extreme mood swings, crying spells- yes I would burst into tears for no reason at all– panic attacks, depression/anxiety and extreme pelvic pain- non cyst related. That’s when I got my diagnosis and my doctor then put me on Celexa. I immediately felt relief with the first pill, followed by excessive yawning, muscle spasms and sleep walking. My doctor decided to switch my meds, but I had had enough. I decided to wean myself off and find a better healthier route to dealing with it.

It’s been 2 years since I got off the birth control and Celexa. I still have PMDD and it rears its head every now and then. I usually experience it 2 weeks before my cycle and 2 days after my cycle. I began to watch what I ate, tried to drink plenty of water- work in progress, Jesus make it taste like wine-took up yoga and light exercising. This helps with the cyst pain and the PMDD. If I’m feeling really bad, and I can tell I’m about to have a flare, I try to cry it out before it rears its head- take a hot bath, cry it out, comfy pjs and a classic rom com/drama and cry it out some more with a glass bottle of wine.

thingsnevertosaypmdd2I’ve felt more like myself now than I ever have since I began taking the birth control. When my PMDD does show up, however, it’s extreme. It usually last just a day but, is better with rest. I wake up in a funk –literally the devil reincarnate- and I usually stay to myself, which comes off to others as having an attitude, and I may have a crying spell or two.
I let one of managers know because it was affecting my work. I’m not sure if she was forgetful or just insensitive to it, but she began to make fun of me, call me bipolar or crazy, and tell me I needed to suck it up or get laid. I decided then I would never tell anyone else. I’ve kept this private because I was ashamed of it. I didn’t know anybody who was dealing with it. I didn’t want anybody to know that I suffer from something my own body causes me. And I definitely didn’t want to be labeled as crazy.

images (3)But, it’s ok to be dealing with it. I know people who have gone through depression and didn’t make it out. I know their suffering seems redundant over time, but it’s real to them. If you care about that person no matter how redundant it seems, just be there. I’m thankful I have a mother who will hold the phone and listen to me just cry if I need to. – I mean you the real MVP– never dismiss someone because their pain doesn’t seem real to you. Try to help and if you cant find them help!